The City of Pasadena held off filing charges Monday against more than a dozen animal rights activists that allegedly tried to block the path of SeaWorld’s float entry during this year’s Tournament of Roses Parade, an attorney for one of the protestors said.
More than 30 people armed with anti-SeaWorld signs lined up in front of the Pasadena Courthouse to support the 14 of 16 people who had court dates for their misdemeanor counts of interfering with a public event.
Lisa Lange, a Pasadena resident and one of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals members taken into custody on New Year’s Day, spoke about her arrest and believes her actions were worth it.
Like many PETA members, she alleges that the aquatic theme park mistreats its orca whales and that documentary films like Blackfish chronicle that abuse.
“We take the legal aspect of this very seriously, but we’re more concerned as individuals with the treatment of these animals,” Lange said. “We think that this protest has helped called a lot of attention to an issue that sorely needs attention.”
Her attorney, Matthew Strugar, said the city had yet to file charges, but would still have a year to do so.
A spokesman with the city of Pasadena reiterated that the cases against the 16 protestors arrested have not been dismissed.
“The city attorney needs a little more time,” said Public Information Officer William Boyer, adding: “The defendants will receive new arraignment dates as soon as possible.”
Since the release of Blackfish, SeaWorld issued an open letter that it does not capture whales in the wild or separate calfs from its mothers and that its orca whales live just as long as those found in the wild.
Twelve-year-old Rose McCoy, the youngest of the protestors arrested on New Year’s Day, was also picketing outside of the Pasadena Courthouse and said she was upbeat on her court date.
“I feel confident that with this support SeaWorld will go out of business and that’s what really matters to me,” she said