Peter Watts, distinguished Canadian SF writer, arrested by US border police while trying to re-enter Canada
Posted by Patrick at 12:51 PM * 262 comments
From Cory Doctorow on Boing Boing: Dr. Peter Watts, Canadian science fiction writer, beaten and arrested at US border.
I already linked to this from the sidebar, but on reflection, I have a little more to say.
First, it’s worth noting that comment #2 to the Boing Boing post observes “And now the inevitable ‘we don’t know the whole story so we shouldn’t pass judgments but he probably did something to provoke them’ comments can commence.” Indeed, there seems to be a kind of person who makes it their business to hover around at sites like Boing Boing or Consumerist to explain that probably the police had no choice but to beat up that guy, or that we don’t know that Wal-Mart abused that customer, since after all it’s her word against theirs. And indeed, comment #5 shows up right on schedule: “It’s my observation that most of these cases begin with a person who becomes belligerent when asked to do something he doesn’t want to do (get out of the car, step away from the car, etc.) These officers may very well have overstepped their bounds, but I doubt very seriously that Watts is completely innocent.”
For what it’s worth, I don’t know exactly what happened, but a couple of things seem pretty evident to me. One is that this wasn’t a routine border search. Rather, American border guards in Port Huron, Michigan demanded to search Watts’s car as he was leaving the US for his native Canada. This is very squirrelly. We’re conducting exit searches now?
via Making Light: Peter Watts, distinguished Canadian SF writer, arrested by US border police while trying to re-enter Canada.
This is nothing. If you see a checkpoint here and a car similar to yours in model is flagged one wrong move and you’d get sprayed with bullets or drugs get planted on your car.
Hope people can think more clearly. We give law enforcement people more power to combat something without stopping to consider that we are only helping enemy we are fighting. To foster a society without trust, full of paranoia and other fucking attituted related with fear and insecurity. We cannot let the terrorist win.