Rob Abrazado (flatvurm) wrote,
Rob Abrazado

Take that, Canadian!

So...celebrated Canadian sci-fi author Peter Watts was apparently beaten, pepper-sprayed, and arrested by U.S. border guards on his way into Canada the other day. (How does that happen on the way out of the country?) I, personally, caught wind of the story from John Scalzi's blog here, but it's apparently hit the big time, as while I was poking around the 'Net for the story, I found a Cory Doctorow post and even one on io9 from my media ex-crush Annalee Newitz. (There's a name I haven't thought about in quite some time.) Also up is Watts' own post. looks like it's popping up all over the place, but I'm giving Scalzi the nod on this one. :)

This is from Watts' friend David Nickle:
Hugo-award-nominated science fiction author Dr. Peter Watts is in serious legal trouble after he was beaten, pepper-sprayed and imprisoned by American border guards at a Canada U.S. border crossing December 8. ...

Peter, a Canadian citizen, was on his way back to Canada after helping a friend move house to Nebraska over the weekend. He was stopped at the border crossing at Port Huron, Michigan by U.S. border police for a search of his rental vehicle. When Peter got out of the car and questioned the nature of the search, the gang of border guards subjected him to a beating, restrained him and pepper sprayed him. At the end of it, local police laid a felony charge of assault against a federal officer against Peter. On Wednesday, he posted bond and walked across the border to Canada in shirtsleeves (he was released by Port Huron officials with his car and possessions locked in impound, into a winter storm that evening). He's home safe. For now. But he has to go back to Michigan to face the charge brought against him.

You can read the whole missive on, say, one of Scalzi's or Doctorow's blog posts. If you're interested in free sci-fi or giving to the legal defense fund, just head here and download stories and/or donate money. I was more interested in posting this story just because it's so ridiculous.

And then...

I was mentioning the story elsewhere and then infd brought up this story in which American journalist Amy Goodman was detained and questioned by Canadian border guards just a couple weeks ago. The plot thickens! Could Watts' predicament be the result of increased international tensions between ourselves and our neighbors up north? Purely a retaliatory bit of saber-rattling? Are purveyors of information the new terrorists? It's a crazy world out there, everybody.

UPDATE: It's on now! The Watts story has been picked up by Slashdot. Also, Watts himself has a new post up regarding the incident.
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