‘Black Spots’ drilling protests planned by Garrett Simmons, January 28, 2014, Lethbridge Herald
When it comes to oil drilling, black is the colour of money. For a group of Lethbridge protestors, however, the dark shade is nothing but a black mark in terms of Goldenkey Oil Ltd.’s plans to drill exploratory wells inside city limits on the westside. With that in mind, a group of ladies who call themselves the Black Spots, citizens standing together in support of No Drilling Lethbridge, have organized a series of protests, starting Wednesday. Citizens wearing black and holding placards are set to demonstrate Wednesday on Whoop-Up Drive at the southwest corner of the intersection with McMaster Blvd. from 4-5 p.m. (weather permitting, as long as it’s not colder than minus-15 Celsius). “We wanted to do something that was radical and different, so this is what we came up with,” said Patti Johnson, a member of the Black Spots.
She added her ladies group typically works on issues surrounding child poverty, but when one of the group’s members become “enraged” about the possibility of oil drilling inside city limits, the group decided to organize the protests. “We just thought, ‘What else can we do?’” said Johnson, who added the symbolism with the protestors dressed in black was an obvious choice. “Lethbridge is going to have a black mark on it once fracking starts because by then, all the damage will already be done.”
Katheryn Yoshida, another member of the Black Spots, added Goldenkey’s plans will disrupt residential planning in that part of the city for years to come, as she mentioned the fact city council has expressed its opposition gave her group inspiration to try and do its part. “A group of us got together and said, ‘We need to do something else.’” Johnson added the health, safety and economic risks outweigh any potential benefit of extracting natural resources from the area where drilling is proposed. She said it’s simply too close to schools and residential areas, as she questioned if the province really cares what city residents think about the issue. “Is Alison Redford even listening to the concerns of Lethbridge citizens?”
One Response to “‘Black Spots’ drilling protests planned”
January 28, 2014 at 9:40 AM
Congratulations are in order for taking on the challenge, yet eight demonstrations in such a short period may be too dilutive. Goldenkey appears to be biding its time waiting for Lethbridge to get back to its tired and apathetic complacency. Rope-a-dope strategy can be effective. Exactly what is the aim of the protest activity. Is it to awaken the University and High School population who seem oblivious to the issue? Is it to goad our Provincial leaders into awareness?
Saving our energy for one mass demonstration when the World Economic Forum comes to Alberta may be the best strategy. Our Premier loves the limelight as she strides the World Stage. She is having a tough time getting attention. Let’s shine a spotlight on the World Energy Superpower as it resorts to desperately grubbing the rocks under our backyard looking for that last puddle of oil. Let the WEF know that there seems to be no other place to dig other than close to our homes, schools and recreation centres.
They have sold the ground upon which our houses sit. They will undermine the foundation of value for a paltry few pieces of silver. They intend to urinate in your backyard and have “no duty of care” for your water. How much longer will you be the good parochial plebeians? Demonstrations are inevitable and welcome but must be focused and led by the united masses. [Emphasis added]