Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time

Circus Executive Charged with Choking Protester

April 9, 2014 by Leave a Comment


The News

Lionel Rowe, the chairman of the Shrine Circus who was caught on video (see below) choking a peaceful protester in Ottawa, Canada, has been charged with assault. The victim, Len Goldberg, is a member of the Ottawa Animal Defense League.

News & Opinion

Several studies have drawn links between the abuse of animals and violence against people, as shown in the above video. It should therefore come as no surprise that a circus executive who uses weapons to beat wild animals into submission would attack a protester. Mr. Rowe, the man who attacked Mr. Goldberg, might have experienced temporary satisfaction choking an activist, but his criminal record will most likely be permanent. In addition to getting himself in trouble with the law, Mr. Rowe has probably attracted more activists to protest his barbaric circus. On March 21st, One Green Planet published an article on 5 ways you can help end the use of animals in circuses.


Monkey Import Company Seeks Restraining Order Against Activists

April 6, 2014 by Leave a Comment


The News

Worldwide Primates, a Miami-based company that imports monkeys for lab experiments, is seeking a restraining order against members of an anti-vivisection group called Smash on the grounds that their tactics go beyond what is protected by free speech. According to the Miami Herald, the company claims that Smash members ‘intimidate, stalk and terrorize” the company and says that “Employees’ identities, photos, home addresses and even divorce records have been plastered online. Bullhorn-wielding protesters frequently rally outside private homes owned by employees, hiding in bushes, trespassing on properties and even pelting cars with rocks.” Smash’s leader, Gary Serignese, defends the groups actions on behalf of the monkeys, stating that “every step of the way is a brutal, traumatizing thing for these really sensitive animals.”

At the Miami Beach home of an officer of Worldwide Primates

At the Miami Beach home of an officer of Worldwide Primates

News & Opinion

Some people might think targeting vivisectors at their homes crosses the line, but I think it’s justified if it discourages some researchers from torturing animals in their experiments. At the very least, the home demos hold them accountable. In my opinion, the extreme emotional and physical pain endured by the animals is far greater than the inconvenience to the abusers of having protesters on the sidewalk. To see how you can help end animal testing, please visit Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN).


NJ Governor Chris Christie Defends His Veto of Gestation Crate Ban

April 3, 2014 by 1 comment


The News

In a town hall meeting, a NJ resident asked Governor Chris Christie to reconsider his veto of a bill that would have banned gestation crates, the small cages in which female pigs are confined on factory farms. In response, he said that the pig farmers made a more persuasive argument than “animal cruelty activists.” In response to the veto, lifestyle maven Martha Stewart sent a letter to NJ lawmakers asking them to override it and added, “These animals have committed no crime, yet they’re treated worse than even the most violent criminals would be treated.”

NJ Governor Chris Christie

NJ Governor Chris Christie

News & Opinion

Chris Christie, who is accused of creating traffic jams in Fort Lee NJ to punish the local Mayor, was once considered the Republican frontrunner in the 2016 presidential race. His decision to veto the gestation crate bill, which was passed by the NJ state legislature, was clearly political — he didn’t want to alienate Iowa, a pork producing state. Several states have already banned gestation crates and other forms of cruel confinement due in part to undercover footage taken by Mercy For Animals and other animal rights groups. To find out how you can help, please visit F.A.R.M. (Farm Animal Rights Movement).


U.N. Court Curbs Japan’s Whale Hunt

April 2, 2014 by Leave a Comment


The News

The United Nation’s International Court of Justice ruled that Japan must stop its annual whale hunt in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, rejecting the country’s argument that it was conducted for scientific purposes and declaring it to be illegal. Japan stated that it would abide by the court’s decision.  However, Japan, along with Norway and Iceland, will most likely continue to hunt whales on a smaller scale in other areas in defiance of the International Whale Commission’s ban on commercial whaling.

News & Opinion

Japan has circumvented the international treaty banning commercial whaling by claiming that they were capturing and killing whales for scientific purposes. How did Japan get away with this for so many years, given that they didn’t produce scientific data; they admitted to selling the whale meet for food; and they used “tradition” as a defense for the slaughter? The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, whose activists have put their lives at risk sabotaging Japan’s illegal whale hunt in the Southern Ocean, put this issue in the international spotlight, which is what ultimately led to the court’s decision. Ironically, the Japanese government, which is responsible for terrorizing thousands of majestic whales before killing them, describes the activists as “environmental terrorists.” Please thank Sea Shepherd for their heroic work by supporting the organization, which will continue to boldly protect wildlife in the oceans.


Did NYC Just Ban Wild Animals in Circuses?

March 31, 2014 by Leave a Comment


The News

The Daily News reported that UniverSoul Circus is suing New York City for refusing to allow their elephants and tigers from performing. The Circus lawyers say that, “the city made new rules this year requiring the circus to get a permit to use exotic animals, then refused to grant the permit on the grounds that the tigers were kept in cages deemed too small and the elephants had not passed a tuberculosis test.”

Photo source: NY Daily News

Photo source: NY Daily News

News & Opinion

Activists in NYC have been lobbying City Council members for years to support a bill banning the use of wild animals in circuses, but the bill never came out of committee for a vote. When he was a City Council Member, Mayor Bill de Blasio, who took office in January 2014, was a co-sponsor of that bill. Did he decide circumvent the cumbersome legislative route by having the Department of Health (DOH), which reports to him, refuse to grant animal permits to the circus? The Mayor’s office and the DOH aren’t speaking publicly about the lawsuit, so the public does not yet know the backstory. What we do know is that the local activist community will do whatever we can to help the City defend its position so that no circuses can use and abuse wild animals in NYC. Please contact the Mayor’s office to thank him for taking this historic step to outlaw the exceptionally cruel use of wild animals in circuses.