Author Topic: Dr Peter Watts, Canadian science fiction writer, beaten and arrested at US borde  (Read 8750 times)

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Offline freeyrmind

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Dr Peter Watts, Canadian science fiction writer, beaten and arrested at US border

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.
"It is said the eskimos have 22 words for snow. Immortal has 23.."

Offline Optimus

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SF author Peter Watts beaten and arrested at US border
December 11, 6:04 PM

Dr. Peter Watts

On Tuesday, Dec. 8th, Canadian science fiction author Dr. Peter Watts was arrested and beaten while returning to Canada after reportedly helping a friend move in Nebraska.

According to Cory Doctorow (a personal friend of Dr. Watts), as border guards were inspecting his car, Dr. Watts got out and questioned what they were doing. He was subsequently punched, pepper-sprayed, beaten, handcuffed, and jailed. The witnesses in the car reported that Dr. Watts did nothing to provoke the guards into this response.

After hearing of this incident, Doctorow contacted Cindy Cohn, the legal director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who was able to arrange bail for the author. However, Dr. Watts is now facing a felony charge and potentially two years in prison for supposedly assaulting a federal officers--according to the guards involved. He denies this, as do the accompanying witnesses. Doctorow is calling for supporters to help Dr. Watts deal with the financial cost of his legal defense. To do so, you can send a PayPal donation to [email protected], or contribute directly to Watts' website.

Here are Dr. Watt's own words on the incident:

    "Along some other timeline, I did not get out of the car to ask what was going on. I did not repeat that question when refused an answer and told to get back into the vehicle. In that other timeline I was not punched in the face, pepper-sprayed, ***-kicked, handcuffed, thrown wet and half-naked into a holding cell for three *** hours, thrown into an even colder jail cell overnight, arraigned, and charged with assaulting a federal officer, all without access to legal representation (although they did try to get me to waive my Miranda rights. Twice.). Nor was I finally dumped across the border in shirtsleeves: computer seized, flash drive confiscated, even my *** paper notepad withheld until they could find someone among their number literate enough to distinguish between handwritten notes on story ideas and, I suppose, nefarious terrorist plots. I was not left without my jacket in the face of Ontario's first winter storm, after all buses and intercity shuttles had shut down for the night."

    "In some other universe I am warm and content and not looking at spending two years in jail for the crime of having been punched in the face.
“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people,
it's an instrument for the people to restrain the government.” – Patrick Henry

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Offline Razorburn

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please dont let this be fact
i hope your friends protect
the picture they attack
the image i project
I look upon your face
round and plump with wonder
i re’lize my mistakes
a state with no founder
and with a sad farewell
sweet prince reveal yourself