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12-Year-Old Activist Speaks Out About Her Arrest At Rose Parade

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PETA protesters were arrested at the Rose Parade (Photo courtesy of PETA)
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A 12-year-old girl spoke about her experience in getting arrested on Wednesday after protesting against the SeaWorld float at the Rose Parade.

"We went in front of this SeaWorld float and we sat down," Rose McCoy tells LAist. "Then a bunch of cops grabbed us and kind of threw us off to the side. It was slightly rough."

McCoy, her mother, and 17 other PETA protesters were quickly taken into custody after they stood in front of the parade float in protest of SeaWorld's treatment of its whales, according to a statement from PETA. The nearly 100 protesters held signs reading "Boycott SeaWorld." A spokesperson for the police department told the Los Angeles Times that they were arrested on suspicion of "interfering with a special event." She also said that 15 adults and one juvenile were arrested instead of the 19 total PETA announced were taken into custody.

McCoy talked about her first arrest experience. "I actually thought it was pretty interesting," she says. "It was a new experience. It was extremely boring because it a lot of waiting [at the station] and looking at a wall."

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She wasn't handcuffed like the rest of the adults until she got to the police station, where they handcuffed her there to make sure she didn't leave the station. She was separated from the adult activists during their questioning. They all have a court date on Feb. 3.

Her mother, Emily McCoy was also arrested, in part for aiding in the delinquency of a minor, according to CBS Los Angeles.

In response to criticism that PETA is using McCoy to push forward their agenda, her mother told CBS Los Angeles, “It really belittles how passionate my daughter is."

McCoy has been making headlines since she jumped the barricade at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade boycotting the SeaWorld float there, and has been inspired by Blackfish, a documentary critical about whales being held in captivity.

This arrest hasn't deterred McCoy from her protests. "I'm definitely going to keep on doing this," she says." I'm going to fight SeaWorld as long as they keep orcas in what's equivalent as a prison."

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"I want every family to boycott SeaWorld and never give a dime of their money to an industry that would make a profit off of the suffering of other living beings."

Here is a video of the protesters getting arrested:

Related stories:
12-Year-Old Activist Who 'Ruined' Macy's Parade Plans To Protest SeaWorld Float At Rose Parade
Video: 12-Year-Old Jumps Barricade To Protest SeaWorld Float
'Blackfish' Explores What Makes SeaWorld's Shamu Murderous