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Free Lolita Update 77

Lolita Update #77
Filmmaker sued!
March 27, 2005



Dear Friends of Lolita,

We are preparing a public action campaign to persuade Dateline NBC to produce a followup of the powerful show about Lolita that appeared on Dateline in 1995. New scientific understandings of her lifetime membership in her extended family and other developments strongly support the proposal to return Lolita to her home and family.

You'll hear more about that campaign very soon, but right now, there's a new legal action by the Seaquarium that could bring national attention to Lolita's tragic predicament.

The film Lolita - Slave to Entertainment, produced by Rattle the Cage Productions, and the website www.miamiseaprison.com have apparently been so successful in alerting people to Lolita's inhumane confinement that the producers, Tim Gorski, and Valerie Silidker, were served with a lawsuit from the Seaquarium to the tune of $300,000!

The Seaquarium claims Tim and Val have committed a variety of infractions, all of which are fair use of humorous parody, and all of which arise from their heartfelt revulsion at what the Seaquarium is doing to Lolita. The lawsuit claims Tim and Val's film and website will "confuse" potential customers. In our opinion, their creative works use parody to educate people about the immorality of holding Lolita and other intelligent mammals in circus-like captivity.

Tim and Val have courageously and effectively described Lolita's predicament. Their efforts are purely educational and not for commercial gain. This lawsuit is an attempt to restrict public criticism that is protected by First Amendment free speech laws. The good news is that if the Seaquarium continues to pursue this legal assault they will be required to publicly open their financial and medical records, and that could lead the case in many exciting directions. Plus, news media may find the Seaquarium's backlash against these two dedicated campaigners for Lolita to be a human and whale interest story that people will want to hear about. Tim and Val can win this case, and when all is said and done Lolita could be closer to rejoining her family than ever before.

Tim and Val need help to win this legal battle and continue to speak up for Lolita. To see the actual lawsuit and help Tim and Val defeat the Seaquarium and reveal this obsolete roadside attraction's dark secrets, please visit: http://www.miamiseaprison.com/whats_happening.htm

Below is Tim's message:
Greetings Lolita freedom fighters, Rattle the Cage friends and members, and SeaPrison Subscribers,

Two days ago Rattle the Cage, President, Timothy Gorski, and VP, Valerie Silidker were served with a $300,000.00 lawsuit from the Miami Seaquarium who is trying to squelch our first amendment rights to share Lolita's story and critique the Seaquarium.

This comes in the form of a countersuit to the assault charges in 2002, when Seaquarium employees acted in violence, throwing me down a flight of concrete stairs, simply for speaking up on Lolita's behalf. They argue that employees thought I had a bomb strapped to my chest and was a danger to the audience and Lolita and therefore needed to be removed with violence.

Because I refuse to settle with them (which would include forfeiting the film and the website) they have filed a counter claim against "us" demanding over $300,000.00 in supposed damages, and a complete cease and desist of the (11 award winning) LOLITA film and our parody website www.miamiseaprison.com claiming copyright infringement, trademark infringement, false display of negative material, false accusations of animal cruelty, conspiracy, evil motives, seeking personal gain, unfair competition.

You have all seen the film and the website. They are educational tools providing valid contradictory information needed for people to make educated decisions. We have done the research. We all know the facts. And we know the law. Both the website and film are protected under the First Amendment and Fair Use laws of the Copyright Act, sec. 107. This countersuit is a blatant attempt to frighten and silence us. The Seaquarium has also attempted to bribe us with a payoff many times but, again we refuse.

We will NOT let them silence us, our films, and our websites. We will NOT fall victim to this dragon. You are all aware that we are a tiny grassroots organization with very limited funds. Our mission is making the films that raise awareness, and we do it well. We do not have the financial means to fight this beast alone. WE NEED YOUR HELP. We must thwart this attempt to squelch our constitutional rights together, for Lolita and all the others.

I am asking you to donate whatever you can now, PLEASE. Every little bit helps. We must secure competent civil rights council willing to champion this cause. This lawsuit may be the blessing we needed. The Seaquarium's books will be open to us; imagine the dirty little secrets we will find along the way. And we are ready to blow this David and Goliath story wide open in the media generating great attention to the cause. I don't think Seaquarium officials fully understand who they are dealing with. They assume we will cower. But good WILL triumph over evil. We WILL fight them to the bitter end. Are you with us?

If every person on this list donates just $10.00 we will have the power to tackle this infringement on our and Lolita's rights and begin production on our next film, The Fall of a Seaprison.

Sincerely,

Timothy Gorski and Valerie Silidker
*****************************

In other news, the Miami New Times recently made a good case for returning Lolita to her home and family in this story:
Seaquarium stonewalls about the health and well-being of Lolita the orca
February 17, 2005

Excerpts:
"The deal we offered Hertz to free Lolita was a win-win," says activist Howard Garrett of the Orca Network. Garrett is part of the group that continues to try to goad Hertz into letting Lolita go. "He was offered two million dollars, full royalty and film rights, and even the chance to have live broadcasts of her [after her release]. He could have looked like a hero, too, which will not be the case if she dies in captivity."

Hertz has maintained that, regardless of the morality of capturing Lolita in the first place, releasing an animal accustomed to performing tricks for food into the merciless ocean would be cruel and probably fatal.

"That's ignoring the fact that, all along, we've offered another option," says Orca Network's Susan Berta. "If she doesn't adapt well to hunting, we would keep her in an enclosed area much larger than her tank at Seaquarium, where she'd get to eat salmon all day, and have auditory contact with her family. It would be like a nice retirement for her."

Orcas are intensely social and group-oriented, traveling and hunting in family units that never break up. Children stay with parents for their entire lives, and families develop unique calls that distinguish them from other orcas. This knowledge has emerged as whales have been studied for the nature of their sentiency. Naturalists such as Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, who studied animal societies on Baffin Island, and Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, author of When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals, insist simply keeping orcas in captivity is morally wrong and out of sync with a civilized human society.





Much is going on to help bring Lolita home and to inform and advocate for her and her family Please consider a tax-deductible contribution to help Orca Network continue this work by clicking HERE. Thank you!


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