Lawyers for Six Flags, activists spar in court

By From page A4 | June 28, 2014

FAIRFIELD — Lawyers for animal rights activists and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo resumed their legal battle Friday over activists’ efforts to boycott the park’s animal attractions.

The activists, Citizens for an Animal Free Six Flags, want the park’s tigers, elephants, sea lions, dolphins, seals, giraffes, birds and other animals removed from captivity.

Activists staged a series of protests at the park earlier this year, holding banners and handing out leaflets to guests entering the park. The protests on park property were quelled in May with lawyers for the amusement park getting a temporary restraining order issued by Judge Scott L. Kays.

Kays presided over the first day of park lawyer’s effort to extend the ban on the activists from a temporary halt to a permanent injunction.

The park’s lawyer had an expert witness on consumer psychology, Dr. Valerie S. Folkes from the University of Southern California, explain for Kays the impact free-speech activities can have on a commercial business.

Folkes said park guests might mistake protesters for park employees and that the negative information being given by the activists can lead to a negative effect on the goodwill of the park and its employees.

Six Flags has policies barring protests and all similar expressive activities, both orally and in writing using signs and leaflets on its private property. The policies dictate that protests are to be done on the public sidewalks in front of Discovery Kingdom.

Kays ended the hearing by reminding the lawyers that the temporary restraining order would stay in effect until he makes a ruling at a future hearing. The legal dispute is scheduled to resume July 8.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

Discussion | 1 comment

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  • JimboJune 28, 2014 - 1:26 pm

    This park can not even hire people who pay attention to the ride they are operating when their cell phone goes off. There is a reason why one 'accident' after another happen there. And the animals, elephants do not normally sway back and forth constantly unless they have become neurotic from improper care. And a few there do.

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