Half-Naked Woman Draws Attention In Downtown Biloxi - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

06/15/05

Half-Naked Woman Draws Attention In Downtown Biloxi

Lunch-time traffic in downtown Biloxi came to a crawl Wednesday after drivers caught sight of a near-naked woman.

Julie Kelton and Christy Griffin held a peaceful demonstration at the corner of Reynoir Street and Howard Avenue. Both women belong to the group PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

They were protesting the arrival of Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus at the end of the month.

Kelton wore a bikini bottom, pasties and chains and sat in front of a sign that read "Shackled, Lonely, Beaten".

"If it takes me exposing some of my skin to expose the cruelty that goes on behind the circus, I'm more than happy to do so. I'm only spending a few minutes in chains while animals in circuses have to endure a lifetime of cages, beatings and chains," Kelton said.

"She has the scars across her back to represent that those animals are beaten into submission performing those tricks. Those tricks aren't natural to them. They don't do them because they think they're fun, they do them because they're afraid of their trainer," PETA Campaign Coordinator Christy Griffin said.

Biloxi Police didn't file any charges against the protestors, but they did tell Kelton to cover up. Both women will hold the same protest in Jackson Thursday and Tupelo on Friday.

We were unable to reach anyone with Ringling Brothers for a comment on PETA's accusations, but we found a statement on the company's website.

It states "Our staff consists of animal experts who devote their lives to living, working with and caring for animals. In all aspects of animal care and safety, Ringling Brothers meets or exceeds all federal standards".

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