I took offence to Nigel Protter's letter (Whos afraid of the big bad WEF?, Pique April 5, 2002), not because of his views on the WEF conference everyone's entitled to their opinion but because his tone drowned out the points he was trying to make. Instead of considering the other side of the coin which he presented, I was compelled to educate Mr. Protter on the diversity of people and motivations in Whistler. I found his smarmy grouping of community members as "rich escapees of real global society" as incredibly undermining. Maybe Nigel isn't here for the same reasons many of us are? It wasn't "blind luck" that brought me to Whistler. I chose this lifestyle over previous lifestyles because I've never felt happier in such a natural environment. And don't kid yourself Nigel, many of us gave up the 9-5 rat race and the financial benefits to lead a life where we may live paycheque to paycheque covering absurd housing and grocery costs, but watching the mist burn off the mountains in the morning is priceless. I consider my choice as protest to the direction society is going, and I stand behind it.
Which brings me back to the WEF. My sentiments against the WEF stem not from the idea of having thousands of security officers, or the effects on my snowboarding that week. By signing petitions and voicing my concerns, it's the first stage in my protest of the World Economic Forum itself. Should I wait till it's in my backyard to sit up and take notice?
Whistler , please hold an environment forum, I'll put David Suzuki up on my couch. But the WEF is an invitation-only club of the world's richest corporations, whose agenda is determined by who has the cool quarter million dollars US to pay for their say. Its members are anything but globally representative, and recently Greenpeace publicly rejected their 2002 invitation as protest to the "insincere treatment of NGOs (which were only invited to attend in the past few years) and the environmental agenda by WEF." (www.citizen.org/publications/ < http://www.citizen.org/publications/ > ) It's a money-fuelled club aimed at making more money. Does their track record prove them to be champions of individual rights?
So before we're condemned as Peter Pans and Tinkerbells, maybe Nigel could give a bit more credit to the Whistler Community. Nigel, if you think this is your big chance to be heard, we'll see you in the picket lines. Unless you made the guest list.