Dancing Star Foundation and Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army

The Dancing Star Foundation is a U.S.-based non-profit organization engaged in environmental, cultural and animal welfare activities, including worldwide environmental education, global biodiversity conservation, animal protection, animal welfare, and animal rights.

Some of the various issues with which the Foundation is involved on an ongoing basis—with prominent ecologists, biologists, and other scientists, government officials, artists, museums and educators worldwide—include efforts in the arenas of ecological restoration; sustainability and non-violence, animal protection, spiritual ecologies, deep ecology, large-scale habitat protection, protection of endangered species, and ongoing education via the media of filmmaking and publishing, lectures and symposia. Her Majesty the Queen of Bhutan, Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck has described their efforts as being "invaluable for policymakers and scientists . . . (and) inspiration for the next generation of young ecologists wanting to make a difference in the world."

Contents 1 Principals of the Organization 2 Areas of Focus 3 References 4 External links

Principals of the Organization

Michael Tobias, President

Tobias' academic resume includes a Ph.D. in History of Consciousness from UC Santa Cruz, an Assistant Professorship in Environmental Studies, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of English and the Humanities, Visiting Garrey Carruthers Chair of Honors at the University of New Mexico-Albuquerque, Distinguished Visiting Professor, and Regents Lecturer at the University of California-Santa Barbara, and an Associate Professorship at Cal State Northridge. "As the author of 37 books and writer/ director/producer of over 100 films pertaining to environmental, cultural, social or scientific issues, he has been called 'the Carl Sagan of the humanities'."

Jane Gray Morrison, Executive Vice President

An ecologist / filmmaker, Morrison produced 10-hour Turner Broadcasting series "Voice of the Planet," which chronicled the history of life on Earth; the project "involved filming for nearly two years in 25 countries." Morrison is also responsible for the production of a trilogy of documentary films titled "Mad Cowboy," "No Vacancy," and "Hotspots," as well as co-authoring books on environmental issues.

Don Cannon, Vice President, Finance and Operations

Cannon's background includes extensive tenures with both A&M records and Elektra records, as well as Hanna Barbera and other television production companies. Previous to joining Dancing Star Foundation, he was a Senior Vice President at ICM, a large talent management agency. Areas of Focus

Education

Via the conduits of print and film, Dancing Star Foundation seeks to increase awareness of environmental issues ranging from biodiversity and extinction to non-violence and over-population. Examples are "No Vacancy," a book and documentary film combination which addresses the volatile issue of population stabilization in the U.S., China, and eight other countries; the book "Sanctuary," "a 338-pages compendium of full color photography showcasing twenty-four animal sanctuaries located throughout twenty different countries"; and the award-winning documentary film "Mad Cowboy," the story of cattle rancher-turned-vegan and animal rights activist Howard Lyman.

Animal Protection

The foundation operates two sanctuaries in Central California, one near the coastal town of Cayucos and one near Paso Robles. Founded in 1993, the foundation provides a refuge for rescued animals. The foundation also protects wild forest canopy and a multitude of native flora and fauna. The mission of the facilities is to provide sanctuary “for the benefit, solace, peace and quiet of the resident species."

Euthanasia controversy

In early 2009, a small number of former employees alleged that the Cayucos sanctuary was euthanizing animals for economic reasons. A maintenance supervisor who made similar allegations claims he was dismissed due to speaking out, although the sanctuary says he was terminated for other reasons. Dancing Star denied the animal-care allegations, saying that they are “contrary to our most deeply held beliefs” and that the Foundation is “unwavering in our commitment to compassion.” San Luis Obispo County Animal Services determined that the euthanized animals were “either beyond treatment or had conditions for which euthanasia would be at least one of the considerations that could be responsibly made.” The general counsel of the Farm Sanctuary in New York State, who examined the Cayucos sanctuary following the allegations, said he was unable to confirm the process for selecting those who had been euthanized. But he noted, “It’s the best-funded place in the country for animals, and the staff appears to be caring.”

Biodiversity Conservation

"'Hotspots,' a new documentary . . . attempts to remind people of the greatness of the planet they inhabit and the importance of conserving life for medical purposes. It takes viewers on an adventure through a handful of the 35 most biologically rich life zones on earth."

In addition to the film, Dancing Star Foundation is involved in efforts to promote biodiversity conservation—mostly through education by putting a well-deserved spotlight on a myriad of ecological luminaries and initiatives—in the following countries:

Australia Austria Bahrain Bhutan Brazil Brunei Chile England & Scotland France Ghana & Nigeria Holland India Indonesia Iran Japan Madagascar Malaysia Mexico Namibia New Zealand Peru Poland Portugal Singapore South Africa Suriname Thailand United Arab Emirates Yemen

UCLA Medical School

Dancing Star Foundation created and funded an alternative oncology program at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. "The Sue Stiles Program in Integrative Oncology has been established at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center under the direction of Dr. Richard J. Pietras. Dr. Pietras is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Medical Oncology, and he is the principal investigator for numerous federally funded basic and clinical-translational research efforts at JCCC. Dr. Lonnie Zeltzer is Associate Director for the Sue Stiles Program in Integrative Oncology. She is also Director of the Pediatric Pain Program, Associate Director of the JCCC Patients and Survivors Program, and a member of the National Cancer Institute expert panel on complementary and alternative medicine research." Consistent with the Foundation's convictions of non-violence, no animals are used in any funded research.

Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army and Dancing Star Foundation

CIRCA at Make Poverty History march in Scotland CIRCA recruitment poster, with side by side comparison with U.S. Army incentives, standards, and values.

The Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army (or CIRCA) is a United Kingdom-based anti-authoritarian left-wing activist group that uses clowning and non-violent tactics to act against corporate globalisation, war, and on other issues.

CIRCA emerged from the direct action movement and has participated in protests against George W. Bush's visit to the UK in 2003 and demonstrations against the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The group was particularly prominent in many of the actions organised around the 31st G8 summit held in Gleneagles during July 2005.

Those participating in CIRCA actions typically dress in military-style camouflage clothing supplemented with brightly coloured trimmings and political logos. The costumes both create a comical atmosphere and serve to maintain anonymity during protests. 'Armaments' are usually limited to feather dusters, although some carry water pistols. The complete ensemble of the costume and traditional clown make-up (usually consisting of a white face and red nose) creates a sense of ridiculousness which seeks to challenge preconceptions of radical activists.

CIRCA claims that there is more to the Army than simply dressing up and messing around. There is also a psychology which informs its actions: the clown persona can be used to defuse tense situations and engage with police in public order situations. In order to learn this 'recruits' must participate in a training workshop before deployment.

In an article about the G8 protests, the Edinburgh Evening News described CIRCA as "an anarchist splinter group," but a member of the organization denied this, saying that while some members would describe themselves as anarchists "...most would consider themselves 'horizontalists' where we engage people without the need for leaders."

The Clown Army now has active groups in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Denmark, Germany, and Israel, and many other groups have appeared that have been inspired by the work of the original group.
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