ffta2013

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BREAKING: an organizer from Marineland Animal Defense has arrived on site at Marineland in Niagara Falls Ontario and will live in this bathtub for the next 3 days. There is no difference between his confinement to the tub and an orca in a tiny tank inside this facility.

Solidarity from Marineland Animal Defense for all animals held captive.

If you are in the area, please drop by and show some support! We hear they would really appreciate a warm drink and a few high fives. The tub will be on site and occupied for the entire closing weekend.

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After 3 days living in a bathtub outside Marineland in Niagara Falls Ontario, Marineland Animal Defense Organizer Jeremy, AKA: TubMan has left his tub! He did shows for audiences when they gathered, he was cold at night and hit during the day living in this contrived and cramped environment, and he relied on others to bring him the food and water he needed to live. After 3 days and two whole nights without even leaving the tub to go to the bathroom, he is now safe and sound at home.

He wanted to make sure people understood the significance of that; after 3 days he was able to quit and go home. The animals inside Marineland will not ever be able to return home without people like us stepping in, working to close this facility and every other one like it the world over, rehabilitating and/or re-homing these animals so that they can live some kind of fair life in either seaside sanctuaries or eventually after unlearning their domestication, return to their homes and families. (Which it has been documented that some captive dolphins have done! Returning years later to the same locations they were caught and rejoining their family groups.)

TubMan is no more, but Jeremy, and Marineland Animal Defense are still here and still fighting and we none of us will give up the fight for these animals.

Because living in a bathtub isn’t fun for anyone, orca or activist alike.

The MAD organizer now dubbed “Tubman” is still there and over hour 18 in the tub! His feet are cold, but his spirits are high! Love and support has been pouring in from all over the world! Go Jeremy Go! He can see all the supportive messages from everyone and it’s really great! He’ll be there until the park closes for the season! Show him some love if you can!

Peggy Oki posing for a photo in the Marineland Animal Defense bathtub that was lived in for three days by anti captivity activist Jeremy, from MAD in Niagara Falls Ontario!

Peggy is showing her support and solidarity with animals in captivity, First Nations sovereignty and #idlenomore! She is also protesting nuclear reactors! She is an inspiring activist and a proud supporter of this campaign!

Thanks so much to Peggy for coming all this way to stand with us today!

Photo by Zach Ruiter

FFTA2013 kicks off with a huge bang tonight! This massive banner made of lights is up in Niagara Falls right now! Held by members of MAD to make sure that know: even though they’ve sued us, they’ve put up fences, they’ve leased land, they’ve tried everything to make us go away, we are STILL HERE. We will be here as long as the animals are and the fight for their lives is bigger and reaches so much further than the curb of the park. We have a legion of animal advocates the world over who agree that Marineland needs to SHUT DOWN and tonight we don’t just speak for ourselves, but all of you too!

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SOCIAL MEDIA TUESDAY!

Festival For The Animals is approaching quickly. The second day of the festival we are hosting a full day conference at Brock University! We’re hoping everyone takes this opportunity to broaden their activism into the larger social justice movement and learn how those issues intersect with animal advocacy. A full schedule and list of speakers will be announced soon! 

Everyone please share this image and make sure you are RSVP’d to the event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/182982358541090/?fref=ts

 

2013: Operation Shut it Down in Review

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!

The Empire Strikes Back: Looking Back on the 2013 Campaign

As we near the  closing weekend festivities for the 2013 year our organizing collective is trying to make sense of the last year - a full roller coaster year.

The highs are obvious - we opened this season with the second largest animal advocacy demonstration in Canada history. Police estimated the crowd at 1,000 - breaking the previous record we set on Closing Day 2012 of 800. We followed that up with more powerful and important demonstrations - like the “Empty the Cages” international day of demonstration.

The lows are more drawn out and confusing - the endless legal emails, the months long court battles, the cross examinations, the contempt motions, the cost submissions, the land leases, and the endless media/PR spin.

We’ve organized this entire year while in the legal system. Everything we’ve done we’ve had to try and do with one foot on the ground still organizing and one foot in the courts still trying to survive.

This has seriously impacted our organizing capacity and impacted our ability to continue to grow and increase pressure on this park. For Marineland and their team of corporate lawyers - that has been their entire focus for the last year. Crush all opposition. We are not where we want to be - but we are still here, still demanding an end to animal captivity. Some of the best lawyers money can buy and they still have not, and will never, be able to stop people from caring about the animals trapped in this industry.

So much of this year has been fighting for the right to hold the next big demonstration. It was a fight to be able to still hold our opening day demonstration - a fight to hold “Empty the Tanks,” Labour Day - and since early September it’s been the fight to hold this Closing Day demonstration. If people believe in on the ground organizing, face to face, and directly out front of this park - then we need you to fight with us.

The most recent battle update is that Marineland Canada is going forward with a $1.5 Million Damages suit against our campaign. Emboldened by the injunctive relief offered to them, further land leases and smelling the blood in the water they know that with Anti-SLAPP legislation coming they only have so much time left to use the legal system as a weapon. Every step, every word, every image and every demonstration will be used as spin in the media and in the court room. ANY movement that could be considered a breach of the court order will be used as leverage. We have survived this far - but the physical, emotional and financial toll has been great. The other side will not be satisfied until we are not only gone from outside of this park - but also personally decimated and ruined.

It’s been tough as a campaign to continue to update this bleak picture in terms that gets across the important information but also makes people feel empowered. These issues are serious and we take them extremely seriously. With that said though, we’d like to test a Star Wars comparison.

2013 will be remembered by us as the “Empire Strikes Back” year. The year of deceit, hardship and near destruction. The year when we the opposition appeared unbeatable and a step ahead.

What we begin our fight for now is 2014 - “The Return of the Jedi.” The year when the side with less resources and less power comes together to fight to win. The year when we finally destroy this death star.

We know It is possible. If it wasn’t possible this park would not be going to the extremes it does to try and stop us. Let’s get there.

Sincerely,
Marineland Animal Defense

ACTION ALERT! HELP US PROMOTE FESTIVAL FOR THE ANIMALS IN YOUR CITY!

Hey everyone!

Festival for the Animals is in just a few short weeks and we need your help making the final push. Here are a few ways you can help out!

Are you coming from out of town and would like to be a city captain? send us an email at marinelandanimaldefense@gmail.com . We will need your help promoting the event online as well as promoting in your city! Poster around your neighborhood, your school/ university, wherever a poster will fit!

Another thing we need from City Captains is for you to help out with buses! We will need marshals on each bus to help things run smoothly. Encourage your friends to register for a spot on the bus at www.festivalfortheanimals.com. let’s fill those buses!

We are attaching the official poster and handbills for the event here so everyone can print them off and get them out there. See you all in a few weeks!

FESTIVAL FOR THE ANIMALS POSTER:

http://i887.photobucket.com/albums/ac78/hannahxxxrose/FFTAPOSTERRRR2_zpsd3877ca8.png?t=1379919342

FESTIVAL FOR THE ANIMALS HANDBILLS:

http://i887.photobucket.com/albums/ac78/hannahxxxrose/FFTAHANDBILLSINVERTED_zpsccf785ff.png?t=1379919351

We still have some spots free on the bus from Toronto tomorrow. If you are still in need of a ride, you can register tonight for the bus - if you are unable to cover the 15 dollar cover, please reach out to our email after registering! Reminder that the bus will be leaving from Toronto at 9:45 AM and the rest of the schedule can be found on the registration page below as well. See you all at the demonstration!!