High Noon in Whistler: tooodleeeooooo......deee doooo dooooo
Well, I am writing this from the lobby of the DELTA Whistler Hotel in beautiful downtown Whistler.
It is about 2:00PM and it's sprinkling rain outside. It looks like the protests have had a rather poor turnout. I have counted about 50 to 60 protestors representing various factions in Vancouver - from NFTAA to WTO to a small group with anarchists symbol on their shirts to "remember Carlos" - meaning the young man who passed away in Genoa. They all look cold, hungry and a bit frustrated.
The police presence is minimal with a few armed mounties standing by the conference centre and they have a rather large area near the parking lot cordoned off for the protestors which looks rather big but mainly beacuse there are only a few protestors!
There was a small battle between some local citizens of Whistler who decided, I guess, that enough was enough and were a bit fed up with the protestors wandering in and out of the various hotels, restaurants and stores to use the washrooms and warm up. Some eggs were thrown from the balconies of the various hotels at the protestors who shouted obscenities and demanded the police take some action but the police didn't do a thing - as the protestors could not identify the balcony. One girl was hit in the neck by an egg that didn't break and collapsed on the pavement - but she got up prompty and ran towards the parking lot!
There was a also a scuffle between a few protestors and a police officer who was knocked down and then surrounded by 8 or 9 protestors who were kicking and throwing punches at the officer - they were quickly and promptly arrested and escorted to hotel side door.
Local Whistler ciitizens could be heard yelling: "Go back to Vancouver you weirdos!" and "You do not represent us....we didn't elect you!"
The local tourists - mainly Asian and American had a grand old time having their pictures taken with the protestors - as if the protestors were some wildlife or a piece of art. It was actually quite funny to see a smiley happy Asian woman dressed in a Calvin Klein top, Tommy Hilfiger Jeans and carrying a GAP handbag with her arm around a soke and wet, and clearly unhappy protestor!! I hope that picture makes the front page of the papers tomorrow as a Vancouver Sun reporter went up to talk with the picture taker afterwords.
So...that's it in a nutshell. Small turnout - perhaps because of the rain or the fireworks tonight or the LONG distance to travel to Whistler...but nothing eventful, just a very disorganised group of young people who I think would rather be enjoying doing something else.
Front the front lines,
I'm Mark Reisman