In a scene straight out of my worst nightmares, a clown fight broke out at a Southern California circus on Friday. The brawl happened between circus performers and animal rights protesters shortly after the Ramos Bros. Circus show began. According to NBCLA, the protesters claim the clowns struck first.
Protester Nicholas Shaw-McMinn claimed they were protesting non-violently, and that protesters were the ones attacked by the circus workers.
“Employees locked us on the property and wouldn’t let us leave. They assaulted… multiple protestors, some with weapons,” Shaw-McMinn said.
He also claimed one of the workers placed him in a choke hold during the clash.
Traveling animal acts perpetuate animal cruelty, inhumane care, public safety hazards and distorted images of wildlife.
As compassionate animal lovers we must stop animal entertainment and extend our love to all animals. Animals are not our [sic] to use, they are not our property; they are beings that desire the same freedoms as us.
The group also makes claims the animals featured in the show are trained using abusive methods like whipping, hitting, and poking with electrical prods. The show’s Ringmaster — Oliver Ramos — allegedly suffered a split lip during the commotion after he was hit in the face with his own megaphone.
Ramos apparently doesn’t mind if these animal rights activists protest on the street but wants them to remain off the circus grounds, especially when a performance is happening:
“These people are just crazy fanatics… it has to stop. These people are getting out of hand,” Ramos said.
Whether he likes it or not, it looks like the “crazy fanatics” aren’t staying away. More than 100 protesters were expected to make an appearance for more demonstrations on Saturday and another protest is scheduled at the end of May.