Canadian SF author Peter Watts got brutalized at the border on what looks like trumped up bullshit. Cory Doctorow posts at BoingBoing. After some of the belittling, degrading treatment I’ve received myself at the border, I can’t say I’m totally surprised. There was at least once I was worried about similar treatment, but that was only a year after 9/11. I hope this story keeps its legs until something is done about it.
My friend, the wonderful sf writer Peter Watts was beaten without provocation and arrested by US border guards on Tuesday. I heard about it early Wednesday morning in London and called Cindy Cohn, the legal director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. She worked her contacts to get in touch with civil rights lawyers in Michigan, and we mobilized with Caitlin Sweet (Peter’s partner) and David Nickle (Peter’s friend) and Peter was arraigned and bailed out later that day.
But now Peter faces a felony rap for “assaulting a federal officer” (Peter and the witness in the car say he didn’t do a thing, and I believe them). Defending this charge will cost a fortune, and an inadequate defense could cost Peter his home, his livelihood and his liberty.