The New York Times made much of two small local liberal protests over the weekend, one at a New York State gun show, the other in the state capital protesting fracking. Vivian Yee's Saturday piece highlighted a scattering of protesters: "Despite Protests, Gun Show in Upstate New York Goes On and Draws Crowds." Yee profiled David Petronis, organizer of the Saratoga Arms Fair.
The show had not attracted so many people before, City Center staff members said. And it had never attracted so many protests. As traffic snarled and parking spots filled outside the convention center, about two dozen members of the newly formed Saratogians for Gun Safety held up 26 painted wooden angels, copies of those a Connecticut artist planted in Newtown after the Dec. 14 shootings.
Yee claimed success for the tiny band of dissenters, based on the dubious evidence of there being a counter-protest.
The protests had left more than a few gun-show attendees feeling beleaguered. Second Amendment advocates handed out fliers to reporters and gathered in small groups, talking anxiously of the state and federal gun-control legislations that many feared were soon coming. “I don’t have enough angels to represent genocide by tyranny,” read one of the signs in the pro-gun camp opposite the angel holders, attracting honks and waves from passing drivers.
Another local leftist gathering, an environmental protest against fracking, occurred in Albany, New York and featured a very special guest: "Yoko Ono Takes Fight Against Gas Drilling to Albany." (The online headline over Saturday's report can be read as a sly reference to Ono's – um – challenging vocal stylings: "Yoko Ono, in Albany, Raises Her Voice Against Hydraulic Fracking."
Danny Hakim didn't pose any challenge to the protest against fracking, a process in which sand, water, and chemicals are injected underground to extract natural gas, even though a report commissioned long ago by the state (and leaked to the press) showed fracking to be safe. Instead Hakim gave Ono the artistic freedom to put out her bizarre idea that fracking would eventually destroy the world.
Ms. Ono -- along with her son, Sean Lennon, who came with her -- has a personal connection to the issue. She and her husband, John Lennon, bought a farm in the Catskills, and she and Sean want to prevent the drilling, also known as fracking, near that property, and everywhere else.
Mother and son -- she wearing a newsboy hat, and he a fedora -- gathered with other environmental advocates to talk to reporters before walking over to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office and then driving to the state Department of Environmental Conservation to deliver 50 boxes of what they said were 204,000 anti-drilling comments.
“Fracking kills, and it doesn’t just kill us,” Ms. Ono said. “It kills the land, nature and, eventually, the whole world.”