(SEAWORLD/PETA) PASADENA — An estimated 19 people were arrested during the Rose Parade and charged with “interfering with a special event” after attempting to impede the progress of the SeaWorld float on Wednesday.

Several protesters were arrested in an attempt to delay the progress of the controversial SeaWorld float in the Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2014. Photo Credit: KTLA
Several protesters were arrested in an attempt to delay the progress of the SeaWorld float in the 2014 Rose Parade. Photo Credit: KTLA

The Los Angeles Times reports:

“As the float headed toward the grandstand on Orange Grove Boulevard, several protesters with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals ran in front of the float, wearing shirts reading “SeaWorld Hurts Orcas” and waving signs urging the boycott of the amusement park.”

PETA protesters in the back of a police van. Photo: https://twitter.com/peta
PETA protesters pose in the back of a police van. Photo Credit: PETA via Twitter

PETA activists protested SeaWorld’s float, “Sea of Surprises,” because it conveyed a false portrayal of SeaWorld’s orcas.

“The SeaWorld float planned for the parade depicts free-living orcas frolicking in the open sea—something that the orcas locked up in SeaWorld’s tiny barren tanks will never experience–and kind people across the country are outraged,” PETA said in a statement.

Among the protesters was 12-year-old Rose McCoy who made headlines after jumping a barricade during New York City’s annual Thanksgiving Day Parade, holding a sign that read, “Boycott SeaWorld.”

SeaWorld is dealing with intense scrutiny after the 2013 release of the documentary Blackfish. The film documents the story of an orca involved in the deaths of three people since 1991 and the mental anguish orcas face in captivity.

Lisa Lange, a PETA spokeswoman and one of the protesters arrested during the parade, said:

PETA VP Tracy Reiman & Simone Reyes getting arrested for protesting SeaWorld at the Rose Parade.  Photo: https://twitter.com/peta
PETA members Tracy Reiman and Simone Reyes are of the 19 people arrested for protesting SeaWorld at the Rose Parade.
Photo Credit: PETA via Twitter

“Rose Parade organizers know full well how orcas and other animals suffer and die at SeaWorld — but instead of refusing to allow this cruel park’s float, they chose to turn a blind eye.

No family event should celebrate a corporation that tears orca babies away from their loving mothers and forces them to live in chlorinated tanks that are barely big enough for them to turn around in.”

In a statement sent to LA Weekly before the parade, SeaWorld responded defiantly, calling the animal rights organization “extremist.”

“We view PETA as an extremist organization with views entirely at odds with those of most Americans. Their claims and accusations are, as they have always been, without merit.

There is no organization more passionately committed to the physical, mental and social care and well-being of animals than SeaWorld. The real advocates for animals are the trainers, aviculturists, animal-care staff and veterinarians at SeaWorld.

We believe most Americans recognize that SeaWorld, not PETA, is the real animal welfare organization,” SeaWorld said.

For anyone who has watched Blackfishthis claim is difficult to believe. Watch the Blackfish trailer in the video clip below and see for yourself.

— Israel Igualate, exclusive to Global Animal