Protesters show at at Patriot Center Ringlings circus performance

On the evening of April 11th, the protesters who have dogged appearances of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey circus showed up at George Mason University's Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA. Attendance at the circus was down. Protesters suspect Ringling's announcement that the elephants are going to be retired is due to shrinking attendance. All the animals, elephants included, were on stage at the Patriot Center. Outside, an unknown large man opposing the protest tried and failed to intimidate a woman out of distributing leaflets. A second protester intervened and that man decided to back away. One of the cops reported receiving a false complaint that protesters were thrusting leaflets in people's faces. There were exactly NO reports of police bothering any of the protesters. As for that false police report, nobody present at the protest had any desire to waste leaflets by giving them to those who did not wish to read them, as that would mean paying to print leaflets that go straight to the trash! What ended up in the trash was a surprising number of people's intentions of buying circus tickets after listening to protesters outside speaking about exactly what Ringlings does to the animals to force them to perform. As the speakouts drew ever larger audiences, Ringlings sent out barkers with bullhorns in a futile attempt to shout down the speakers. They forgot that anyone wanting to hear a speaker under this kind of assault can defeat it simply by moving closer to the speaker and is likely to hold such behavior against the circus.

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