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PETA Boycotts Piccadilly Circus in North Fort Myers

PETA Boycotts Piccadilly Circus in North Fort Myers

By Gabrielle Sarann. CREATED Jul 14, 2012

NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. - Moments after PETA supporters arrived at the Piccadilly Circus in North Fort Myers on Saturday afternoon, a sheriff's deputy asked them to leave.

"If we don't leave, we will all be arrested and taken to jail," said BJ Gerald, of Alva, who showed up to protest.

A Lee County investigator told them protesting even just outside the Civic Center gates is trespassing.

"We're disappointed of course because we want to get our message out," expressed Madeleine Doran, of Fort Myers, who organized the protest.

But the 17 animal rights advocates didn't give up.

"It's horrendous and these animals are miserable," added Gerald.

They relocated to Palm Beach Boulevard and State Road 31. With signs and pamphlets in tow, they spoke out against circuses everywhere. 

"They are abused, they are shocked, they are tortured and they are captives of the circus," said Doran.

Protesters say that's especially true for elephants 

"They beat 'em to get them to come out," said another protester. "Just take those bull hooks and pound at them to get them out."

But while the group waved their posters, families continued pulling in for the circus. The Guerra's, from Alva, said they're glad PETA left the property.

"They shouldn't be here," said Miguel Guerra. "This is something family oriented."

Miguel's 9-year-old daughter, Gabriela, agreed. "I wouldn't like it because I'm trying to enjoy something and we don't often get the circus around here," she said.

Artie McIntyre, the manager of the Lee County Civic Center, said the Piccadilly Circus has no comment.

PETA says it doesn't have another protest planned in southwest Florida yet. The Piccadilly Circus runs until tomorrow at the Lee Civic Center.

Gabrielle Sarann

Gabrielle Sarann

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Gabrielle is a reporter for FOX 4.