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PETA to Descend Upon DTLA in the Name of Elephants

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By Chelsee Lowe The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey's Circus begins its seven-day Los Angeles visit Wednesday at the Staples Center, and local activists will be out in full force once again to protest the group's poor treatment of its animal performers.

Members of organizations including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Animal Defenders International, In Defense of Animals, Last Chance for Animals, and the Animal Protection and Rescue League will continue to target Ringling's cruelty toward its elephants.

In Defense of Animals Elephant Campaign director Catherine Doyle stated that the animals are "separated from their families, brutally trained to perform unnatural tricks, chained, confined to small cages and pens and transported around the county in cramped train cars for months on end," according to City News Service. Some of these egregious methods were captured on camera in past years, and activists will most likely be wielding blown-up copies of some of these images as they march tomorrow.

Protestors will meet at 6pm at the corner of 12th Street and Figueroa, which will give them plenty of time to get their juices flowing before attendees show up for the 7:30pm opening night performance.

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As an active member of PETA and the Ringling Bros. Beats Animals campaign, actor Alec Baldwin recently released a video exposing the circus’ violent elephant training methods. With Baldwin’s star power behind it, the campaign hopes to increase awareness around the issue and convince more people to boycott the circus. He’s also helping spearhead a movement to convince the US Secretary of Agriculture to seize the elephants altogether.

PETA's local activism goes well-beyond the circus tent walls. In June alone, the group held an adoption in Echo Park to find homes for some abandoned chickens, attacked the Olson twins for owning an animal fur backpack that cost about $17K, and managed to shut down a shady circus in Corona. PETA is willing to travel, too. Last year when Ringling Brothers came to Anaheim, the People sounded their protesting trumpets loud and clear.