Amy Goodman and
By Dave Zirin
November 28, 2009
When it comes to independent, agitational journalism, the standard is Amy Goodman and her radio/television institution, Democracy Now! Goodman and her staff often find themselves accosted by officials, foreign and domestic. This happened again on Thursday. But it didn't happen in East Timor or
Canadian border officials held Goodman in Vancouver for 90 minutes when she attempted to enter Vancouver to attend events launching her new book, Breaking the Sound Barrier . But the Canadian Border team didn't care what she was there to do. They wanted to know what she was going to say. They demanded to see her notes. They searched her car and surreptitiously checked her laptop. They returned her passport with papers demanding she leave the country within 48 hours.
What could possibly have led to this level of scrutiny?
They cared little that she was there to discuss the wars in
In an interview with CBC News, Goodman recalled that the border agent "made it clear by saying, 'What about the Olympics?' And I said, 'You mean when President Obama went to
He said, 'You're saying you're not talking about the Olympics?' He was clearly incredulous that I wasn't going to be talking about the Olympics. He didn't believe me."
Ponder for a moment the Canadian state's paranoia wedded with arrogance. They moved quickly from concern that Goodman would be a critic of the games, to aghast that it would not be the centerpiece of her speech.
As Derrick O'Keefe, co-chair of the Canadian Peace
But it's not just the economic theft.
Harsha Walia, member of No One Is Illegal and the Olympic Resistance Network, said to me, "In the lead-up to the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, we have witnessed and been subjected to an increasingly fortified police state, including intimidation and harassment of activists by security and intelligence forces as part of an unparalleled $1 billion security and surveillance network. In contravention of basic rights, police have stated their plans to set up checkpoints, search people without cause, and erect security exclusion zones."
The Canadian government has leveled public housing, stifled civil liberties and harassed local activists. The last thing they want is someone like Amy Goodman telling the world.
"I am deeply concerned that as a journalist I would be flagged and that the concern -- the major concern -- was the content of my speech." said Goodman.
We need to see what happened to Ms. Goodman as a challenge to expose truth about
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs