Thursday, October 17, 2013

Shale gas drilling in western Ukraine (Part 2)

Here are some pictures from the protest. Yulia and I went there with her parents (who have been very ardent about the issue).

It was pretty well organized. When we got there, there was already a crowd and someone leading with a microphone. We got to work collecting signatures.

After a while one of the protest leaders got into a debate with a journalist. The leader asked the crowd what religions they were a part of. Everybody answered, and there were all sorts of people there.

We were confused until we found out later that the journalist was asking if we were representatives of a religious sect. Apparently, journalists have convinced themselves that the protest was only attended by members of this religious sect. Interestingly enough, after learning that this protest was attended by all sorts of people, the local news persisted with the story that only members of the sect attended the protest. I wouldn't be surprised if this were conspiratorial in nature (though it could also just be the result of sloppy journalism). If you are on the losing side of an issue and have no good arguments on your side, it is best to distract people from the issue itself. It's a good method. It's even got me talking about religion instead of shale gas.

Later in the protest, one of the leaders went to the Lviv legislature to talk with some representatives, but he was not allowed inside. He then ended the protest by encouraging everyone to spread the facts about shale gas because facts, as he put it, are our best weapon.

The protest when we first got there.

Bottles filled with water poisoned from shale gas drilling

Yulia's mom collecting signatures

Dead chickens being used as a prop at the protest.

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