Lupita at the “Freedom for Dolphins and Whales Demonstration”
A week from our last demonstration I wanted to reach out today with a story.
Demonstrating as part of the global “Freedom for Dolphins and Whales” day we set up in front of Marineland at 11:30 am for an afternoon protest.
Not long after we set up I noticed a woman on the other side of the fence - Marineland’s side - trying to read our signs. I could tell she was shy because she was standing back a bit, but she was interested. I asked her if she knew why we were there. She nodded, smiled, and replied, ”Can I join you?”
Communicating through a language barrier we got Lupita a sign and welcomed her to the demonstration. She stood with us for nearly the entire demonstration until her tourist bus come back up to the parking lot to take them to their next location.
Tourist buses frequently include a stop at Marineland in travel packages, and it is common for people to not know or not want to go in or support animal captivity. We are glad that on that day we were able to offer Lupita an alternative!
During the last round of civil litigation brought forward by the lawyers for Marineland Canada this became the central point - they wanted to restrict any speech or appeals to park goers on the basis of what they called “the right to quiet enjoyment of the park.” They were unsuccessful in their attempts as we refused to consent and they were forced to abandon their motion. Still, they recognize how powerful it is for us to be out front of their facility ready to provide people with an alternative. For some that means packing back up in the car and going somewhere else, for others like Lupita, that means spending the afternoon with us instead.
Each individual who steps up and joins with others raises that collective voice. No, not everyone loves Marineland. In fact, we know thousands of people who do not!
To all of those who break away from the crowd, to all of the Lupita’s out there who make an effort to take any chance to stand up for captive animals - thank you! All of these small acts - attending a demonstration, speaking out against a school or corporate trip, sharing information online and word of mouth, watching and promoting documentaries, writing politicians - combined these acts are all diffusive, they all spread and grow. Together, they will create historic change for captive animals.
Dylan Powell (Co Founder Marineland Animal Defense)
We’ve got great news!
As we began to deliver our defense yesterday in Ontario Superior Court lawyers for Marineland Canada rose and abandoned their “silent demonstration” motion! Clearly effected by our defense, our unwillingness to back down, and the overwhelming amount of support that had come since they served us notice at the very last minute - Marineland was forced in Superior Court to back down!
If Marineland would have been successful the restrictions would have stopped chanting and also severely restricted our ability to appeal to park goers to make informed decisions about what they support with their money. This is a huge victory for MAD and for those who oppose Marineland and none of it would have been possible without your support.
9 days ago we launched a GoFundMe and asked for support. In the span of 8 days $9,650 of our $10,000 goal is raised!
In the span of one month hundreds took part in the first ever “March On Marineland” and we’ve gotten our first activist defeat of Marineland in court!
So far our campaign year has been full of positives, but we also have to make sure we keep that up! Our next demonstration is coming soon on Sunday June 29th from 12-2pm. For those who have been waiting for a Sunday demonstration this is for you! The demonstration itself is part of "Freedom for Dolphins and Whales" another coordinated and international day of protest against animal captivity. Please do what you can to support that demonstration spread the word through social media and word of mouth, organizing and offering car pools and encouraging others to get active for captive animals! We’ve attached a facebook cover photo for facebook users to use to spread the word
"Freedom for Dolphins and Whales" Facebook Event Page - https://www.facebook.com/events/639931292759672/
We fought hard for the right to demonstrate, to chant and to appeal to the public to educate them on how they have a choice that captive animals do not. Now, it’s time to step up and use those rights!
Marineland Animal Defense
As most of you are aware, Marineland Canada is dragging us back to court tomorrow. This means another 10am date with Justice Lococo at the St. Catharines Courthouse.
Why are they dragging us back? Because they want more restrictions on demonstrations and are trying to slip in new language claiming that their customers have a “right to quiet enjoyment of the facility.” If successful, this could mean that all demonstrations on site would have to go silent.
Why do they care so much? Because the personal appeals that advocates make at demonstrations are capable of educating those thinking about possibly entering the facility and it has changed minds. For those who have been out to our demonstrations you will have seen this process. Advocates pleading respectfully with those thinking about entering the park telling them about Kiska’s story, reminding them how powerful their choices are and that they can leave but the animals cannot, and urging everyone to keep wild animals in the wild and to protect the habitats and ecosystems of wild animals.
This is the basics of effective advocacy and Marineland is trying to destroy it.
If you care about animals, if you care about the captive animals at Marineland, and you care about the right to continue to advocate for them then please do what you can to help us! The support we get allows us to push forward even as Marineland continues to drag us through the court system.
Photo Cred: The Indignants
Hi MAD Supporters,
We are reaching out today in need of urgent help. With the least amount of time possible Marineland Canada has filed new motions against us and we will be back in court on June 16th. This time we will be defending against a motion Marineland is bringing forward to try and restrict all speech on site during demonstrations. They claim that their customers should have a “right to quiet enjoyment” of the facility - a right they certainly don’t give to captive animals at the facility.
On top of this, they have come forward with Garnishment Orders on the cost order they were awarded in August 2013 against myself and Marineland Animal Defense. $10,000 means little to a corporation that is reported to spend $4 million/year on advertising alone - but the order allows Marineland to use this as a weapon.
I am the only person individually named in the order because I refused under cross examination to name anyone else associated with Marineland Animal Defense. I did that in the hopes that if and when the time would come the support needed would be there. This is that time.
Since Marineland can use that outstanding cost order for leverage in court – on June 16th – we are trying to make that cost order disappear before that date. For anyone who has been to demonstrations and supported this campaign – please consider throwing down some funds. Every little bit helps, including sharing the GoFundMe we have running now.
Please, help us get this out of the way so we can get back to organizing.
We are now 24 hours away from the start of the March on Marineland! The first ever march on Marineland in the history of its 40+ years of opposition!
Some last minute updates for those coming out. Please use the event website and the Facebook event page as resources. In the last few days we’ve announced the full parking/shuttling/march route and also sent a call out for people to wear a blue shirt/sweater/jacket in order to create a "Sea of Blue" effect.
The weather might not look like much where you are right now, but the weather for tomorrow is still forecast as being nice with only a small chance of showers in the late afternoon. Temperatures will be a bit chilly though, so do prepare.
Aside from all of that we are excited to kick off a new season! For those following or coming out tomorrow remember to use the #MarchOnMarineland hashtag on social media for others to see!
Sea of Blue announcement and also the Front and Back of the March Sheet that will be handed out to everyone tomorrow is attached! If anyone has any last minute questions or concerns that aren’t addressed via the site or the event page don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us!
Marineland Animal Defense
We are still organizing in the build up to the Opening Day “March on Marineland” on Saturday May 17th. For local folks, or local enough, out there we are having testing out a public open organizing meeting structure tomorrow night in the lead up. The meetings are scheduled to be bi-weekly and it is our attempt to include more voices, share skills, and provide an entry point for those looking to get more involved. Aside from that, we’ve launched our event website for "March on Marineland" as well. Please use the site as a resource leading into the demonstration. Last but not least we always appreciate help promoting the event page and are still looking for endorsements. If your business, organization, collective, group would like to endorse please get in touch!
March on Marineland Website - http://marchonmarineland.com/
Facebook Event Page for “March on Marineland” - https://www.facebook.com/events/527289127346410/
Aside from that we are still pushing hard on Bill 83 - the Protection of Public Participation Act - which would provide a legal deterrent to SLAPP suits which captive animal facilities like Marineland Canada are so quick to engage in. For an update on this effort and please read the article below from MAD Co-Founder and SLAPP Suit Defendant Dylan Powell. The article provides an action alert as well for those in the Newmarket-Aurora, Durham, Oshawa, Perth-Wellington, Northumberland-Quinte, Wellington-Halton Hills, ridings to follow up on to pressure Ontario Conservative Party members to stop trying to sabotage the passage of the bill. We encourage supporters in those ridings to follow through!
Ontario Conservatives Throwing a Wrench into Bill 83 -http://dylanxpowell.com/2014/03/07/ontario-conservatives-throwing-wrench-into-bill-83/
Looking even further into the future we’ve announced our full demonstration schedule for 2014 - including our event page and promotional materials for our second annual "Empty the Tanks" demonstration on Saturday May 24th. This demonstration will coincide with demonstrations at captive animal facilities all over the world and we are thrilled to participate again. We also look forward to a full protest season, seeing old faces - and a lot of new ones! Make sure to mark the schedule (attached) down on your calendar.
Empty the Tanks Demonstration Event Page - https://www.facebook.com/events/599980720088182/
Last but not least we want to give a shout out to another upcoming “Opening Day” demonstration against a captive animal facility in Ontario. Our friends at Hamilton/Halton Animal Liberation Team (HALT) and members of the Grassroots Ontario Animal Liberation Network (GOAL) have called for an opening day demonstration planned at African Lion Safari for Saturday May 3, 2014. We urge members to support this demonstration and to confront and oppose the captive animal industry at any chance!
African Lion Safari Opening Day Demonstration Event Page - https://www.facebook.com/events/211622519036955/
Til’ next time and til’ all the cages and tanks are empty! - xo, MAD
Donations - we accept donations and email money transfers to our paypal: email@example.com.
Our first E News update of the year and it is important!
We launched this year with the new campaign name “Operation Second Chance” (#OP2NDChance) - an entire year to highlight alternatives to for profit animal captivity and success stories of animals who have been given a second chance. Alongside that announcement we announced that Opening Day at Marineland this year - May 17 2014 - will be met with a "March on Marineland.” For the first time ever we will take to the streets to demand change for the animals at Marineland! Please RSVP on the facebook event page, share on your social networks and invite friends and family to the event. The event poster is also attached and facebook cover photo is attached.
In the short term, Marineland Animal Defense is joining with the Grassroots Ontario Animal Liberation Network (GOAL) and the Toronto Aquarium Resistance Alliance (TARA) to highlight issues of wild capture and animal captivity at the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada in Toronto. This Sunday we will be demonstrating out front of the facility in Toronto and we’d love for you to join us and raise your voice for the animals!
Aside from demonstrations, since our last update we’ve reflected on 2013 and the year that was "Operation Shut it Down."We marked a lot of highlights and we hope that our review will serve as a reminder of what we can achieve when we all work together to end animal captivity. Let’s push even harder in 2014!
Adoption Wednesday - lovable bun-buns! Please share widely to help these little balls of love find their forever home (together).
Without doubt or argument, 2013 was our biggest, boldest and best campaign year yet. Although we battled in the court system the entire year, we still managed to grow, build pressure and hold the largest demonstration in the history of opposition to this park (and the second largest in Canadian history!)
Below are a few highlights of this years campaign to reflect on, a day before we announce our 2014 campaign year.
New Years Day 2013 Demonstration: We threw Marineland for a loop by holding a New Years Demo to start the year last year and to announce “Operation Shut it Down.” The demonstration was small, but set the tone for the year and sent a message to Marineland that the world is still watching even during the off season. This one goes down as the first winter/off season demonstration in the history of the park.
Global Awareness Week Photos: To keep interest up in the offseason we announced the very first "Global Awareness Week." Alongside events on the ground and in other communities we put a call out for people to send us photos calling for Marineland to shut down. We were swamped. Hundreds of photos came in from all over the world - Australia, Florida, Finland, Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Switzerland, Ireland, Mexico and all across Canada and the United States. It was amazing to see the response and photos kept coming in the entire year. It was also great to see big name athletes like Leilani Munter and James “Lightning” Wilks take part, as well as bands like Anti-Flag. We look forward to doing this again this year!
Record Setting Opening Day Demonstration: May 18, 2013 saw the largest demonstration in the history of opposition to Marineland (breaking our 2012 Closing Day record) and the second largest animal advocacy demonstration in Canadian history (and the largest since 1984!). We threw everything we had at the park - we thunderclapped, we set a new Guinness World Record for Origami’s displayed for young advocate Vijay, we chanted and we created a huge buzz. This was the result of so many people taking time out of their busy schedules to take a stand against Marineland and against the captive animal industry. It was a beautiful day and we look forward to repeating it in 2014!
Marineland Animal Defense Kicked Out of Niagara Falls Council: Niagara Falls City Council has never been a friend to captive animals at Marineland. Two leases of public land to Marineland confirm this. We took to Council in May though on a separate issue - to hold them accountable for the eviction of 47 families from the Green Oaks Trailer Park. That eviction notice was served by Marineland Canada and residents still feel that there were steps Council could have taken to stop that eviction in 2011. When City Clerk Dean Iorfida came to our opening day demonstration and claimed that the eviction never happened - we had to respond. We asked for a minute of Council’s time so that ex-resident Connie Topolinski could speak. They shut down council and booted us out. In the process though, we finally got local press to cover this issue and talk about the role Council has played in supporting not only this eviction, but anything Marineland comes to Council for.
Marineland Animal Defense Joins Greenpeace and Over One Hundred Other Public Advocacy Organizations to Call for Anti-SLAPP Legislation: It made perfect sense for us this year to not only fight our own legal battle against Marineland, but to work with others to fight to protect public advocacy for all Ontarians. Our advocacy has never been about one specific animal, one specific park, or one specific issue - this is about speaking truth to power and organizing to change practices that we can no longer support. We look forward to continuing this fight in 2014 until we see the passage of Bill 83 - the Public Participation Act.
Social Media Tueday Goes Viral: Our anti-captivity designs and videos have increased greatly in reach and quality in 2013. Our images have been seen globally, translated and ensured that Marineland stays on everyone’s mind when it comes to opposing the captive animal industry. Our most popular images have had a facebook reach alone of over 100,000 views!
Largest Empty the Cages International Demonstration: This year some great anti-captivity advocates came up with the idea of a network day of demonstrations at captive animal facilities. It was a great statement of global opposition of the captive animal industry. We were happy to take part and also host the largest demonstration of the day!
Liberals Increase OSPCA Funding from $500,000 to $5.5 Million/Year: Although it was not the announcement we wanted - the Provincial Liberals giving $5 million more a year to the OSPCA was an open admission that their investigation of Marineland was flawed because of a lack of capacity (we told you so) and also showed that our public advocacy is making a difference for animals and changing practices within the industry. Although it’s not what we want, and we won’t stop until we get it, this announcement was a psychological blow for Marineland. We followed up on this announcement with a demonstration and mass call-in at the office of Madeleine Meilleur to demand closure of the wild capture loophole.
Festival for the Animals: For four days in 2013 we organized in opposition to the captive animal industry in Ontario. Closing day demonstrations at Marineland Canada and African Lion Safari - alongside walkers from Safari Niagara to Marineland Canada. The demonstration was a great statement - but so was our lighted highway sign “Shut Down Marineland” and the now famous “Tubman” - anti captivity advocate and M.A.D. organizer Jeremy Larivee who spent three days in a tub outside of Marineland in protest. All of the events were a great reminder to Marineland that we are not going anywhere - no matter how hard they try and use the legal system as a weapon and scare people they cannot stop people from caring about captive animals!