Second Draft

Nearly powerless, but not quite

Posted in Uncategorized by Jill Snider Lum on Wednesday, December 16, 2009

So much has been said about the arrest and beating of our friend and fellow Cecil Street member, Dr. Peter Watts, that I almost feel it’s pointless to add my own voice. There’s been no post about this matter here earlier because it’s been really difficult to find the right useful words for it.  When you read about something like this happening to a stranger, it’s terrible; but it’s a distant kind of terrible.  When your friend, someone you know and like and share writing-critiques with, gets punched in the face, pepper-sprayed, kicked, arrested, tossed into jail without representation, nearly tricked into being deprived of all his rights, arraigned, and then driven across the border and thrown out without his possessions or a coat during a night-time snowstorm, all because he asked a simple question… there just aren’t words for the horror and fury this inspires.

Nor, in my case, for the feeling of powerlessness.  I have no useful connections; I have no influence; I have no way of doing anything that will be of direct help Peter’s situation, nor to mend the broken system responsible for it.  If I could, I would.

There are only two things I can do.  I can express my opinion on the Internet.  The Facebook group “Against the Arrest and Beating of Peter Watts” has grown to 1,223 members at the time of this posting; there were only 25 or so when I joined it a few days ago.  The more people know about an injustice, and the more vociferously they object to it, the less likely it is to succeed in its purpose.

And I can send money to Peter’s defense fund; and so can you.  He’s going to need it.

Do-Ming Lum’s latest post on his blog ‘Luminosis’ links to all the details and commentary on Peter’s situation, including Peter’s own blog entries about it. I urge you to familiarize yourself with this matter, and do all you can, not only to support Peter, but to demonstrate your lack of support for the insane system that has put him in this position.

To donate to Peter’s defense fund: cheques can be made out to Peter Watts, and mailed to Bakka-Phoenix Science Fiction Bookstore, 697 Queen St. West / Toronto, Ontario / M6J 1E6. Cash donations will also be accepted if you drop by the store. Electronic payments may be made to donate(at), or via PayPal.