Thursday, December 10, 2009

Amy Goodman Detained at Canadian Border

Photo: Toronto Star

Amy Goodman, a US journalist who hosts "Democracy Now!" and New York Times best-selling author of “Breaking the Sound Barrier” was detained at a Vancouver border crossing last month. According to the CBC, border officials questioned her about what she would be speaking about in Vancouver and Victoria. The Globe and Mail reports that she was scheduled to speak at the public library.

Most disturbing is that border guards asked for her speaking notes. Since she does not use notes to speak, she offered her copy of the book from which should would be reading. The question border guards kept asking was whether she would be speaking about the upcoming Vancouver Olympics. When she returned to her car, guards had gone through their belongings and papers and two of three laptops.

The event as described by Amy Goodman was posted on Truthdig.

Amy concludes:
Our detention and interrogation were not only a violation of freedom of the press but also a violation of the public’s right to know. Because if journalists feel there are things they can’t report on, that they’ll be detained, that they’ll be arrested or interrogated; this is a threat to the free flow of information. And that’s the public’s loss, an Olympic loss for democracy.

While many people have experienced being pulled over at the US/Canada border, the issue is seldom what a person will speak about. This issue should be of great concern to Canadians who value freedom of speech.

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