*PHOTOS* In Sign of Declining Influence, ‘Global Frackdown’ a Huge Bust
This year’s Global Frackdown must have been a pretty big letdown for anti-fracking activists everywhere.
If you missed this year’s event, which took place this past weekend, don’t feel left out. You’re not alone. Considering the scant coverage it got across the globe, most reporters apparently saw it as underwhelming, too.
But what was most notable is that the anti-fracking activists who insist that their “movement” is growing were also missing in action, as attendance was pretty sparse. Of course, this is nothing new – EID covered last year’s Global Frackdown, which showcased equally pathetic attendance.
This year’s Frackdown was the same story, different verse. For instance, there were plenty of empty seats for a performance at the Global Frackdown in Carson, California:
EID also found about four protesters at a gas station in Northeastern Los Angeles:
About fifteen folks (and at least one drum) showed up to march against fracking in Butte County, California, which has a population of over 220,000:
And there were lots of empty benches in San Benito, even though the weather was beautiful:
Back east, in Butler, Pa., several dozen folks actually showed up at Diamond Park, but it’s notable that several were from out of state. One speaker, for instance, flew all the way in from Oregon, apparently unaware that burning jet fuel to go protest oil and gas development is more than a little ironic.
In Oak Park, Illinois – located in Cook County, IL, where oil and gas development does not occur (but plenty of oil and natural gas is used) – several dozen protesters marched to Sen. Don Harmon’s empty office with their “ban fracking” message. Senator Harmon is the Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) – a bi-partisan, bicameral group of Illinois legislators charged with either approving or rejecting the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ (IDNR) second draft of rules for the Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act (IHFRA).
One of the few news outlets that did report on this particular Frackdown – a news channel in Cincinnati – showed a 22 second segment of the event, which had only about a dozen protesters in attendance.
In Colorado, Food and Water Watch tweeted out a picture of just a handful of folks who had gathered to tour a well site:
We have a great group gathered and ready to go tour the fracking sites! #globalfrackdown pic.twitter.com/j5KC7elvZM
— FWWatch Colorado (@FWWatchColorado) October 11, 2014
And in Oklahoma, one of the most prominent oil and gas producing states in the country, the main Global Frackdown event could only muster “about 20 people,” according to The Oklahoman.
While the embarrassingly low attendance across the country was a stark reminder of just how marginalized the anti-fracking movement has become, the handful of folks who did attend also put their fringe beliefs on full display. Without the science on their side, some protesters in Butte County, Calif., went as far as to equate hydraulic fracturing with Satan:
Protestors in Butte County also carried around skulls and donned the usual facemasks:
The owner of this car (which, of course, runs on fossil fuels) contends that we will “become a sacrifice zone for the world” unless we ban fracking:
The Subaru Outback is a great vehicle, but one can’t help but think: if the owner truly wanted to reduce fossil fuel use – and not just preach to the rest of us that we need to do so – wouldn’t he or she be driving something that at least has a hybrid engine?
In Butler, Pa., EID was on hand to take videos of the events.
In one video, a protester, when asked if he thinks we should go back to the Stone Age, said,
“Praise God, that’s what we need. We need life, we don’t need death.”
When asked again if he thinks we should go back to the Stone Age, he replied,
“Yes, we’d be better off than wherever you’re taking us.”
However, we have to admit that protesters in the UK perhaps take the cake for the most elaborate anti-fracking stunt, creating a “fracking monster” that promises, “I will be raping and pillaging your land.”
In a nutshell: fracking monsters, devil costumes, facemasks, and skulls are the props of folks who can’t win legitimate policy debates. These are stunts – and poorly attended ones, at that. It’s the sign of a fringe movement which is losing credibility so fast that it can’t even get a friendly media to cover its events.
With each “frackdown” – contrary to their intentions of displaying a growing movement – anti-fracking activists only put the spotlight on how marginalized they have become.