December 11th, 2009

Medieval Lady

Passing the word along: Author beaten by border guards

Reading that tag, you'd expect the border guards in question to be in Iran, or North Korea, or Russia, or similar, yes?

Nope. This was U.S. border guards. Along the Canadian border.

Dr. Peter Watts, Hugo-nominated Canadian sci-fi writer, was returning back north after helping a friend move, when he was
stopped, beaten, pepper-sprayed, arrested, thrown in jail overnight, and THEN charged with assaulting a federal officer.

He was finally set free on bail--- without his car, his computer, his flash drive, or even his jacket, which is of course perfectly appropriate if you are sending somebody back over the Canadian border on foot in the middle of December. And, apparently, will now be facing a large and expensive legal fight, with the possibility of being thrown in jail for a couple of years and/or not being allowed back into the country.

Aside from my own personal feelings on this (which boil down to, "People, we are supposed to be a bettter country than this" with a healthy side of, "Yes, beating up Canadian authors who dare to ask why you are searching their car is exactly how to best express the Christmas spirit"), I refer to Elizabeth Bear's statement "...well, you know the drill. Help if you can, pass the word, and remember: making an absolutely enormous stink about this kind of abuse really can't hurt.

Contribute, repost, pass the word along, as you are able and motivated to.

His version of events is here.
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