Monday, January 20, 2014

Neil Young Concert Demonstration - "Because you were first..."

The Idle No More Calgary movement staged a round dance at tonight's Neil Young Honour the Treaties tour concert. There has been much discussion about Neil's opinion of Alberta oil sands. Proceeds from the Honor the Treaties tour go towards legal fees for First Nations lawsuit against oil sands development.

Because he was the first to arrive at the round dance demonstration, this fellow (who is a regular sight at protests -- usually voicing contrary opinions) was interviewed by a local television station. As far as I could tell from listening to him, he had no knowledge of what the round dance demonstration was really about. I heard him shouting about First Nation reservation corruption, and Neil Young needing oil for his vehicle (this guy actually had a bottle of motor oil on hand). His posturing was reduced somewhat when a fellow from the area affected by the oil sands told water contamination stories.

The media were on hand, but seemed a bit confused that the round dance demonstrators were not there at 6:30 p.m. sharp, as per notifications.  Some stayed just long enough to interview the contra-protestors.  Note to media:  activists in Calgary rarely start demonstrations on time.  Besides, many of the activists were taking part in a related program at the Central Library's John Dutton Theatre.

Maybe that's why the pro-oil sands demonstrators seemed to get so much attention -- even after the activists arrived.  Or maybe it's because it's good business to give pro-oil sands coverage over First Nation concerns.  All I know, as a photographer piggy-backing on the videographers camera light, they seemed to linger the most on pro-oil sands people.  The apparent one-sided (or minimalistic) coverage is why I feel compelled to photograph activist activities in Calgary.

Although my Pentax K-5 was able to catch much of the action, the extreme ISO automatically chosen by the camera also gave extreme noise.  Some of it I cleaned up with Photoshop, but I'm thinking photos properly lit (especially these night time demonstrations) would turn out way better.  (The Camera Store has a LitePanel Micropro that looks interesting.)

Here's what I took using just the light that was available.


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