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Journalist Amy Goodman Interrogated by Canadian Border Agents

While traveling to Vancouver, Canada to speak at the Vancouver Public Library at a benefit for community radio stations, Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and her two colleagues were detained by Canadian authorities. The armed interrogators were particularly interested in whether she would be speaking about the upcoming Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. Amy was questioned extensively about the speech she intended to give; their car was gone through by armed border guards, and their papers and laptop computers were scoured.

She said, ".... this was, to say the least, extremely jarring. I felt completely violated, I mean, personally and professionally and for journalism overall. Because this is not only a violation of freedom of the press, you know, the idea that the state is going into your papers, your documents, your sources, everything—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 they’ll be questioned, they’ll be interrogated; this is a threat to the free flow of information. And that’s the public’s loss, that’s democracy’s loss.

David Eby, Executive Director of British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, said later on Democracy Now! "Well Amy, unfortunately, it is quite common to see police forces, security forces in Vancouver in Canada targeting activists, what’s unique about your situation is that you, as far as I know, were not on the record on Canada’s 2010 Olympic Games and the people who’ve been targeted here at least, have spoken out in public at City Hall, the media about the Olympic games.

We have had Americans who are in town who are activists who have been arrested and taken to the border because they are associating with anti-Olympic activists here in Canada. And so. its not surprising for me to hear that the Canadian Border Service Agency, which is part of the larger integrated security unit providing security for the Olympics is interested in Olympic issues, what was surprising was somehow they tied you in with these Olympic issues in this crackdown against activists that’s happening here in Vancouver."

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