Friday, December 11, 2009

Peter Watts

Two and a half years ago, I had the utter pleasure of spending three hours in the bar at Readercon with science fiction writers, David Edelman and Peter Watts. Peter was articulate and amusing, incredibly knowledgeable on many subjects, and a delightful companion. We've kept in touch intermittently since then, and every time we e-mail, it's been a lovely conversation.

But now, Peter is in trouble, and it's entirely not his fault. Our insane, idiotic attempts to keep the United States "safe from terrorists" (notice the irony dripping from my words) have resulted in Peter being wrongly arrested at the Michigan border, pepper-sprayed, beaten, and jailed in a freezing cold cell. All Peter did was ask a question about why he was being stopped, and this is what he gets...

Now, Peter needs help. He's a critically acclaimed science fiction writer, but critically acclaimed doesn't translate into financial success. He needs a defense fund, and anything you can donate to help correct this utter atrocity will be well worth your money. You're not fighting just for Peter's rights--you're fighting for your own rights.

Please consider donating to help him. And if you're a United States citizen, particularly if you live in Michigan, please consider writing to your congressional representatives and lodging complaints on Peter's behalf. The more volume this gets, the better it will be for him.

1 comment:

cmartell said...

This is surprising. I went through that border not too long ago and I wasn't asked to produce any documentation.

Since I wasn't there and I don't know what actually happened I'll reserve my judgment. Not that I can't believe he may be innocent--I was in the Army for five years and I've seen the power tripping type before-- but I like to withhold judgment on whether someone is guilty of a crime until I know all the facts.

I was a security guard for a number of years, and before that I did my share of gate guard duty in the Army. You'd be surprised how crazy some people behave when someone with a authority tells them something they don't want to hear.

I remember some little old lady flipping me the bird for not allowing her to park in a shipping dock with NO PARKING signs everywhere. I had a Sgt. threaten to kill me for not allowing him to drive down a restricted road for joggers in cadence (no exaggeration; he even tried to run me over).

I'm going to hope for his sake that he is innocent because the accusations against the guards he are far from standard procedure.