… it might be a felony.
At least, in the “land of the free.” Er, not so much.
I haven’t been following this, though I heard about the original incident, mostly because those two months with barely any internet meant I haven’t been following anything. But it seems that Dr. Peter Watts, a Canadian scientist and author, has been found guilty of, well, disobeying an order. That is, if asking, “What is the problem?” is disobeying an order.
He’s also been slammed in the media, with accusations of violence and worse, all of which he notes have been discarded by court. Certain Canadian media outlets have, it seems, decided that they’d rather misrepresent the situation of one of their own citizens rather than criticize a poorly-worded American law.
The sentencing isn’t until late April. Not sure what to do between now and then, but it seems like something ought to be doable. If you’re American, contacting your congressperson might help. The law under which he has been convicted is controversial and problematic, and maybe enough objections will help the ACLU to blast it to pieces? While I’d like to think contacting someone in the Canadian government would help, well, I doubt it, given the clown at the top of that crapheap.
I have to say, having traveled in the “developing world” (to whatever degree the dichotomy makes sense these days), I have only rarely had encounters with border officials that have been anything but pleasant. Somehow, it’s usually relatively more unpleasant in North America. (Yes, Canada, I mean you too.) Indonesian officials might want a bribe or something, but they won’t pepperspray, let alone convict, a random foreign national just for asking, “What is the problem?”and not lying down on the ground quickly enough.
Maybe because they don’t want problems with the Canadian government, where, you know, the American government knows it won’t have any. Or maybe it’s the language barrier. Maybe we Canadians should just start pretending we don’t speak English, and try prattle on in French during such situations? Hmm.
Not to make light of a ridiculous situation. But seriously, are we really just supposed to become such compliant sheep that we lay down in the dirt anytime someone in a uniform tells us to? This is not that “freedom” I was told my granddad fought in World War II for. Not at all.