It has been an eventful summer for animal rights in the Niagara region. By now many of you will have seen the ongoing investigation of Marineland by the Toronto Star that began with this article. It’s heartening to see many people paying attention and speaking out on behalf of the animals held captive in horrifying, unnatural conditions of this “amusement park.” Several BARC members have been involved with protesting this powerful corporation with the Marineland Animal Defense (M.A.D.).
Since the Star’s expose, attendance at protests has skyrocketed from about 20-50 to 300-500 people. Check out the M.A.D. website for updates on the campaign. You can also join their facebook community and the associated event pages. Word is that Ric O’Barry (Feautured in The Cove) will be at the final demo of the season on October 7th. It’s expected to be the largest demonstration at Marineland yet!
Karen Kelly of NADL with a sign that brings attention to the similarities between the yearly slaughter of dolphins in Taiji Cove, Japan, and the cruel treatment and conditions of dolphins in Marineland. Ric O’Barry, featured in The Cove (2009), a film that exposes the dolphin slaughter, will be at the M.A.D. protest on October 7th. Photo by Rose Hurst.
In the more immediate future, on September 15th, activists will be converging at Marineland owner and multi-millionaire John Holer’s residence for a home demonstration. There is symbolism in taking the event to his residence because Holer has a history of evicting 47 families from their homes, including seniors, elders, people with disabilities and families with children. The families are still fighting for their homes. Many are even forced to continue paying mortgages for homes they cannot live in. To add insult, Holer said this eviction was because he wanted to expand (and was given 1 year to do so), however it has been 15 months and nothing has been done with the site. See Gohomeless.ca for more information about the ongoing struggle against the evictions.
Other events in the animal rights community this summer included fundraising with vegan BBQ’s to raise money for, and visiting, animal sanctuaries in Southern Ontario, vegan bake sales, animal and earth liberation prisoner support, protesting against the shark fin industry, and travelling to other towns to protest the animal “entertainment” industries. We are also gearing up for the annual Niagara Walk for Farm Animals which will start at the St. Catharines Library on October 6, 2012. If you haven’t registered, you can do so here. (Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about getting involved.)
Nick Sackfie and Denis Kelly of Queer Action Niagara (QAN), supporter of the Niagara Animal Defense League (NADL), protesting against Marineland. The M.A.D. campaign this year was titled “Operation Splash Back” as a nod to a communique released by a radical queer liberation group–Bash Back–who recognized solidarity between queer liberation struggles and the resistance of other animals – namely, captive Orca’s (read more here).
BARC will be setting up info tables in September and having events throughout the year. See you on campus!