London Animal Action circus demos

  • Great British Circus, May 9 2004
  • Zippo's, June 12 2004
  • Zippo's, July 3 2004
  • Spirit of the Horse, July 17 2004
  • Zippo's, August 7 2004

    Nottingham, 5-6 March 2004, Great British Circus

    Three demonstrations were held against the (not so) Great British Circus during their last weekend at the Japanese Water Gardens, Stapleford (near Nottingham).

    The first, on Friday afternoon, attracted much public support in addition to attention from TV news and local press.

    At the second demo, on Friday evening, we felt slightly rendundant: no-one went into the circus while we were there. They must be popular. Apparently they had some customers, because judging by the sounds from the tent the show was going ahead ('and there's a *very naughty tiger!*' being a choice segment, yuk): but the fact that we were there for the last half hour before a performance without seeing any suggests that 'standing room only' wasn't the right phrase. Lying-down-being-sick room, maybe.

    While there, we gave some leaflets to other businesses on the premises. Most places were shut at that time, but the people who run the on-site cafe took some of our leaflets to display. The general attitude from people who worked there seemed to be that the circus was unwelcome.

    At some point in the evening we were joined by a gaggle of local kids, who tried to storm the site but were turned back by 'security'. They then grabbed placards and, as a result, the attention of passing motorists. Just as we were leaving, a police car pulled up. The officer told us (by then down to the original four protesters) that there had been complaints about two of us seen inside the premises (can't think who...) and that 'half the local force' was on it's way. Overreacting, any?

    Unfortunately, the Saturday demo saw more (than zero) punters going into the circus. It wasn't, however, as bad as we'd originally thought, since most of the cars going in turned out to be aiming for the garden centre or other businesses on the site. The circus 'security' guy meanly refused to let a protester reduce the already short queue at the ticket office by giving people there something to read.

    Please send reports of circus demos to, and they'll be posted here asap.

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