The ACLU of Florida has filed a lawsuit challenging the “red zone” policy at the Miami Seaquarium that prevents animal rights advocates from accessing public sidewalks near the entrance to the park. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of three South Floridians who have been confronted by police for advocating inside the “red zone:”

News/Update: This case has been settled! See press release here.

Bagenski1Steven Bagenski inherited from his father a deep commitment to justice and love for animals.  After retiring from serving as a law enforcement officer with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, and 34 years of public service, he decided to pursue his life-long dream advocating for the improved treatment of animals.  Steven has met with state and federal legislators regarding animal rights issues and advocated in front of the Miami Seaquarium, where he was arrested for holding a sign in August 2014 about the mistreatment of Lolita, the orca. Through visibility, example, conversation and education, his sincerest desire is to change the hearts and minds of the public regarding the plight of animals.

Gilda CummingsGilda Cummings started advocating in front of the Miami Seaquarium a couple of years ago after speaking with some advocates there about why they were speaking out against the conditions of confinement of the orca Lolita.  She has also organized fundraisers to provide for dogs abandoned in the Everglades and participated in protests regarding the testing of monkeys and hunting of dolphins.  She now participates in rallies in front of the Seaquarium regularly to help raise awareness with visitors about how Lolita is treated, in an effort to secure her freedom.

GeragiJeff Geragi became engaged in advocacy on behalf of animals six years ago after his younger son started asking him questions about animal rights and how animals are treated by human beings.  Now, Jeff and his son frequently attend rallies and local government meetings to advocate on behalf of animals since the animals do not have a voice of their own.  In addition to advocating in front of the Miami Seaquarium to raise awareness of the conditions under which the orca Lolita is kept there, he has also advocated against the mistreatment of animals in the circus and the practice of primate vivisections.  Jeff’s goal is to peacefully help animals wherever they need assistance.


Legal Documents

Complaint- (6/02/15)

Map of Red Zone - (06/02/15)

Settlement - (09/21/15)