WASHINGTON – The sixth march to protect elephants held in the nation’s capital on Saturday was canceled 30 minutes before it was supposed to start, but a group of about 15 activists and protesters still gathered to show their support.
The march was supposed to a call to end all ivory trade and stop “approved global commerce profiting from the extinction of endangered species,” according the event’s Facebook page.
Elephants DC, the organizing group, canceled the march because it didn’t receive a parade permit by the Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department. The group did get a permit from the National Park Service, but both permits are required to march.
About 120 people said they would attend the march, according to the Facebook notification of the event. When the event was canceled, some people left to do other things.
A group of five animal activists still gathered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to rally people.
One activist said nothing goes right all the time.
“(The ivory trade) should be outlawed,” said Bruce Cohen, a University of Maryland 1977 alum who decided to stay and participate in the march. “There’s no need for tusks to still be used and as long as I have a voice, I’m going to use it.”
Cohen is one of a larger group of animal rights activists who attend numerous animal rights events in the capital. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) employees and volunteers and lead organizers from other organizations dedicated to eradicating animal cruelty also stayed for the elephants march.
What started as a small group on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial grew to a group of about 20 activists standing before the White House holding signs with pictures of elephants.
Tourists and people passing by stopped to talk with the activists and take pictures with the signs made by PETA.
John Jessome, an animal rights activist who lives in Arlington, Virginia, said he stayed because he disagrees with how elephants are often used for entertainment purposes, like elephant rides and circuses.
“We just want you to treat animals the right way,” Cohen said. “That’s all we want.”
The march was rescheduled for the weekend of August 10-12.