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Environment

PHOTOS: Mickey, Minnie Mouse Chain Themselves to Disney Headquarters in Defense of Indonesian Trees, Tigers

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Wed, May 18, 2011 at 1:00 PM
click to enlarge Minnie Mouse takes on the Burbank PD - RAINFOREST ACTION NETWORK VIA FLICKR
  • Rainforest Action Network via Flickr
  • Minnie Mouse takes on the Burbank PD

Here's one way to get half-lidded 7 a.m. commuters to notice your niche environmental campaign:

Dress up as Mickey and Mickey Mouse, chain yourself to the gaudy front gates of Walt Disney studios and force a team of local police officers to cut you loose and haul you down to the station.

Sergeant Mitchell Ross at the Burbank Police Department says the protesters were arrested for trespassing this morning, but (staying in the character of giant cuddly mice) "were not resistant." Two accomplices in climbing gear and Mickey Mouse hats had climbed onto the iconic Disney archway, where they stretched 35-foot banner reading "Disney: Destroying Indonesia's Rainforests."

'Twas a sight to see, no doubt:

click to enlarge RAINFOREST ACTION NETWORK VIA FLICKR
  • Rainforest Action Network via Flickr
click to enlarge RAINFOREST ACTION NETWORK VIA FLICKR
  • Rainforest Action Network via Flickr
click to enlarge RAINFOREST ACTION NETWORK VIA FLICKR
  • Rainforest Action Network via Flickr
click to enlarge RAINFOREST ACTION NETWORK VIA FLICKR
  • Rainforest Action Network via Flickr

Looks kind of like a tree sit, where the "tree" is present only as a sad memory and sign fonts are fancier than usual. (Little did Walt Disney know his autograph style would one day be used against him. Muahaha.) City News Service released the arrestees' identities this afternoon, sans corresponding costume assignments:

  • Jennifer Binstock, 29, of San Francisco
  • Christopher Toomey, 52, of Redondo Beach
  • Blake Hodges, 26, of Irvine
  • Alexia Dickason, 27, of Los Angeles [Update: One Weekly commenter says the fourth protester's name is actually Alexis Soto.]

In case you're still not quite grasping the cause, here's the Rainforest Action Network's explanation:

"Disney is printing children's books with paper that is driving the destruction of Indonesia's rainforests," said Robin Averbeck, Rainforest Action Network's Forest Campaigner. "It is past time for Disney to catch up with its peers and adopt a policy that guarantees tiger extinction and deforestation will no longer be found in kids' books or in any products the company sells. Of all companies, Disney should not be harming the earth's real magic kingdoms."

Touche.

Tigers are at risk here, too. Another staffer adds that "the very creatures Disney features in its classic film 'The Jungle Book' are threatened by the paper Disney's children's books are printed on."

OK, so the tiger in "Jungle Book" is totally evil, but even conniving bastards like Shere Kahn deserve some sympathy and roaming ground.

According to the police report, all four protesters were arrested and transported to Glendale City Jail, as the Burbank equivalent is getting a little makeover at the moment. Their bail was set at $1,000 each.

Guess that's what peaceful Indonesia advocates get for calling Disney out for its smelly-ass load of hypocritical BS.

Leave the fibers -- and the tigers -- and the giant cuddly mice! -- alone, ya jerks.

[@simone_electra/swilson@laweekly.com]

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