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WTF.

I am really upset about this. Local SF author Peter Watts was beaten, pepper sprayed and arrested by US border guards while trying to cross back into Canada. For, basically, asking why his car was being searched.

I have plans to attend ACUS and Notacon this year.

Right now, I am really upset about this, and seriously considering cancelling any and all travel to the US. We will see how I feel in a week or so.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
outcastspice
Dec. 11th, 2009 05:50 pm (UTC)
to be fair, we dont' know what he said or how he said it. maybe he was antagonistic and aggressive and provoked them? which of course still doesnt excuse it, but would suggest it's less likely to happen to somoene who remains calm and pleasant.

that said, we sent $20 for his legal fees.

Edited at 2009-12-11 05:50 pm (UTC)
mycrazyhair
Dec. 11th, 2009 06:58 pm (UTC)
Here is Peter's description of what happened.

Fuck.
outcastspice
Dec. 11th, 2009 07:02 pm (UTC)
wow. thanks for the link.
50_ft_queenie
Dec. 12th, 2009 02:17 pm (UTC)
Sickening. M and I made a donation to help with his legal funds. I hope it helps a bit.
sylvarthorne
Dec. 12th, 2009 07:19 pm (UTC)
I'm with you on being upset about this. But...I have to say it, I'm tempering my upsettedness. I'll wait for full outrage when I see the CCTV and photographs of injury, which there was apparently.

I've read both of his blog posts, and the majority of the commentary and as many of the news posts as I've found in the past <hour, and there were plenty of good points being raised - and I've decided that both sides need to be taken with a grain of salt. My logicky logic says that there was a natural progression of: Watts stepping out of his car (without an order to do so?), asking wtf, freaking out the guards (because that's what they do when someone steps out of their car without an order), refusing to get back *into* the car and possibly getting mouthy about wtf. Cue pepperspray, cue Watts flailing because pepperspray hurts, cue everything else. Both sides committed fouls, but the objective truth of severity is as yet unknown. Border Guards' report says Watts was aggressive. How aggressive is that? Watts says he was shit-kicked and punched in the face. Are we talking a gang-beating, with him cowering in the center on the floor - or barroom brawl, with him also throwing punches? What is his definition of "shit-kicking"? Watts himself also tempers his "abandoned in the snow" bit, by later saying "I was not exposed to the weather unprotected for an inordinately long time." By no means am I defending the guards' actions. I absolutely believe they used excessive force, and added insult to injury as much as they could. But at the same time, I *have* to question Watts' actions as well. It *sounds* like he behaved in a manner that was interpretable as threatening and suspicious...and that's just a dumb thing to do when you're faced with security personnel. No easy answer, here :(
sylvarthorne
Dec. 12th, 2009 07:22 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry about the wall of text. When I tried to fix it, it didn't work, and I don't want to overload your inbox with notifications while trying to continue to fix it. Props to people who make it through the lack of paragraph breaks :(
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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