Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ringling Brothers elephants: star of the promotion and focus of the protest; also, circus operations extend arena perimeter

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The Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey circus arrived yesterday in Brooklyn, and the elephants were the highlight--both for circus-watchers and protesters.

First came a staged walk-through DUMBO in the morning. As NY1 reported:
To celebrate its arrival Wednesday, a parade of eight elephants and their handlers marched across Old Fulton and Old Water Streets, wowing school kids and adults who came out to see the unusual sight.
....Borough President Marty Markowitz also proclaimed it Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus days while they're in town.
Protesters were kept a block and a half away, according to Gothamist.

A New York Post article headlined Jumbo in dumbo cited the arena developer:
“I have been waiting for this moment for 10 years!” Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner yelled to the crowd of bystanders that gathered, referring to the time it took to get the arena built.
An evening  protest

Before the 7 pm show, however, perhaps 150 activists from Animal Defenders International, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals gathered at 6 pm to walk around the arena, carrying protest signs like "Built to Enslave," a parody of the show name, "Built to Amaze."

The number was somewhat more than the 100 maximum police predicted; smaller groups are expected through the end of the circus on April 1.

The treatment of elephants was key to their protest, given the use of bullhooks to guide/control/scare the bests. For a defense of the circus, see links from Ringling and industry allies. For a critique, see material from animal rights advocates and a zoo director.

The extended perimeter

Meanwhile, evidence suggests that the lengthy term of the circus requires some unusual accommodation for participants.

For example, as the photo at right from Atlantic Yards Watch shows, not only was there late night activity Tuesday night in the loading dock, there appear to be a residential trailer and generator in the "pad" next to the loading dock.

And, as other Atlantic Yards Watch photos and video show, delivery and construction trucks have both used residential streets rather than approved truck routes and idled on those streets.

In some way, the delay in building residential towers adjacent to the arena is a boon for arena operators; if there were a tower in the space immediately next to the trailer, above, some residents likely would be lodging complaints.

More from the protest




The protests



Trucks on residential Dean Street

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