I usually approach your newsmagazine differently each week. Last week, for whatever reason, I read Maxed Out first. I have to admit it got me going, as my interaction with a police officer during the protests was very similar.
I then read Mr. Barnetts editorial and he gave a different perspective. One I also relate to. Watching the stand-off Saturday between protesters and police outside the conference centre, I felt bad for the police as Mr. Barnett points out they are in a no-win situation.
Having said that though we are in the business of service here in Whistler. When I was told by an angst gentleman in uniform that I could not drive down Village Gate Boulevard the options laid out to me were: 1. GO AROUND. When asked which way he would suggest, I was informed by this person whom I had never met before that I knew better than him, so just go around. Explaining that it appeared that all the roads into the main village were closed I was given option 2. PARK AND WALK. The officer explained to me "MY PATIENCE IS WEARING THIN JUST GO AROUND!" And I was the first car to pull up to this roadblock; pity the next confused/lost tourist. I would have much more compassion for the police if their representative had displayed a little less anger/attitude.
Perhaps a solution if we have other major events here that require such large security contingents could be that part of the planning should be how to deal with the general public. They are not the bad guys here; they are the ones who are the reason our town exists.
For the days before we had a massive police presence we had two and three officers, always together and in full tactical uniform, strolling throughout our town. This time could/should have been spent establishing options for people who had made the mistake of being here the same time as the people whom the police apparently had planned to close the roads for.
Lets all learn from this so we are not victims of protests/demonstrations that right or wrong, as Mr. Barnett points out, have a right in a democracy to be heard.
Here in B.C., we all live in one of, if not the most, beautiful parts of planet earth. We are known the world over for our natural beauty and wildlife, and especially for a way of life which we are fortunate to have. Our prosperity relies on forestry, mining, fishing and tourism which includes our beautiful beaches and rugged coast line sprinkled with its hundreds of small islands and their lovely coves, waterfalls and public park lands.