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Judge stops circus, HP Pavilion from restricting protesters<br><br>
By Leslie Griffy<br><br>
Mercury News<br><br>
Court complaint: Bolbol v HP Management.<br><br>
Court judgement and permanent injunction.<br><br><br><br>
Ever seen a circus-like protest? Now, under a court ruling issued Wednesday, the real circus can't prohibit such sideshows from public areas around its grounds when it visits San Jose.<br><br><br><br>
The ruling by U.S. District Judge James Ware gives animal rights advocates the right to protest Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus' treatment of animals anywhere near the HP Pavilion that the public is allowed.<br><br><br><br>
Those areas include the north parking lot and entrance at the Pavilion. Protesters can film circus staff with the animals from public areas, hand out leaflets and carry signs, Ware ruled.<br><br><br><br>
The case stems from a 2004 challenge to an injunction that required protesters to stay 60 feet away from the Pavilion entrance and prohibited them from videotaping circus workers from public areas. The injunction also limited the number of protesters allowed near the Pavilion's entrance to two.<br><br><br><br>
In 2005, Ware temporarily prevented the circus and Pavilion from implementing the rules following a lawsuit filed by the activists that challenged the restrictions as a violation of their constitutional rights.<br><br><br><br>
Wednesday's ruling permanently prohibits the restrictions.
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