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Float Protester to Argue Unusual Legal Necessity Defense

Dozens of PETA Supporters Will Gather in Support of Woman’s Resolve to Stop Orca Abuse

Amanda Slyter-one of 16 protesters arrested for “interfering with a special event” after blocking the SeaWorld float at the Rose Parade last year-goes to trial on Thursday, and her defense counsel will argue that the cruel capture and lifetime confinement of orcas in SeaWorld’s tiny concrete tanks constitute an emergency that necessitates action and that, therefore, her disruption of a propaganda plan to support continued captivity must be permitted under law. This is the first time that “necessity” (also known as the “less of two evils” or “greater good” defense) has been argued exclusively to justify action taken to prevent harm done to captive animals used in entertainment. Outside the courthouse, dozens of PETA supporters will hold signs that read, “Boycott SeaWorld!”

“Every day that orcas suffer in captivity, denied everything that is natural and important to them for the sake of a theme park’s bottom line, is an emergency,” Slyter says. “PETA and I are pleading with everyone to help these orcas by rejecting SeaWorld’s prisons-and by demanding that the orcas be moved to coastal sanctuaries.”

In nature, orcas swim upward of 100 miles per day, but at SeaWorld, they’re forced to swim in tiny circles in diluted urine in a concrete tank and spend most of their lives virtually motionless without the use of sonar, without their families, without a life. At least 25 orcas have died in U.S. SeaWorld facilities since 1986-and not one died of old age. Since the release of the critically acclaimed documentary Blackfish in 2013, SeaWorld’s attendance and profits have dropped every quarter. PETA-whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”-has purchased enough of SeaWorld’s tanking stock to be able to call on the company to fund the creation of seaside sanctuaries.

Protestors will gather at 1PM outside Pasadena Superior Court on Thursday.

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