Moolah Shriners were caught on video in St. Louis this week assaulting two nonviolent protesters who had entered a Shriners meeting to proclaim, “Coal for you for abusing animals in your circus! Drop the animal acts immediately!” Fez-wearing Shriners battered 32-year-old Sasha Monik, dressed as Santa, and 40-year-old Kyle Mayberry, who filmed the protest against the Moolah Shrine Circus’ continued use of animals, as they attempted to leave the building. One Shriner reportedly put Monik in a chokehold, twisted her arm, and held her against a wall while three or more of them threw Mayberry to the ground, ripping his clothing, and pinned him. One Shriner kneeled on his back, and another stepped on his hand.
The Shriners kept the protesters in those positions until police arrived and charged the pair with trespassing and disturbing the peace. Monik was taken to the hospital for a CT scan and released. Mayberry, who is now suffering from severely bruised ribs, was held in jail overnight and released the next morning. The pair plan not only to plead “not guilty” to the charges but also to sue the Shriners for assault.
It’s no surprise that Shriners who support violently tormenting elephants and other wild animals for circus shows would also assault peaceful protesters. PETA stands behind “Santa” and her helper and is more determined than ever to push the Moolah Shrine to drop the animal acts from its circus.
Moolah Shrine Circus Abuses Animals
The Moolah Shrine Circus is among the last remaining shows that still use wild animals, who are confined to small crates, kept in shackles, and deprived of any semblance of a natural life. It has partnered with notoriously cruel exhibitors, including Carson & Barnes Circus, which has been cited for more than 100 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act and whose head trainer was caught on video attacking elephants with bullhooks—weapons resembling a fireplace poker with a sharp hook on one end.
Speak Out Against Shrine Circuses
Please, take this opportunity to speak out against the despicable legacy of Shrine animal circuses, in which elephants, tigers, bears, and other animals have been forced to perform under threat of violence for over 100 years.