The head of the World Economic Forum on Friday invited members of the “Occupy” movement to meet him in person, to discuss their concerns about the exclusive gathering of global business and government leaders.
Forum founder Klaus Schwab offered to meet the activists Saturday, said Adrian Monck, a spokesman for the organizers. But David Roth, one of the activists and a member of Switzerland's Social Democratic Party, said the group was still mulling whether to accept the offer.
“We don't want to be used for a PR event,” he said.
Earlier Friday, half a dozen protesters attempted to enter the high-security venue in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, Switzerland. The activists said they had come peacefully to claim their entry passes and those of “7 billion other people” wanting to take part in the annual meeting of global leaders.
The forum organizers denied them entry, but said the protesters had been invited to a separate event outside the main venue.
U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay said Occupy activists and more young people should be allowed to take part in debates inside the main venue, where political and business leaders are discussing the state of the world.
“Why should the demonstrators be out there in the cold? They should be right here,” she told The Associated Press.
Monck said the organizers had tried hard to invite a wide mix of people to the event, including those who would challenge leaders to rethink how the world should be run.
“We're trying to represent diversity within a program that takes months to put together,” he said. “There's plenty of criticism of capitalism going on.”
Occupy WEF: http://occupywef.ch/english
Frank Jordans can be reached on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/wirereporter