My gf and I are stopped at the Canadian Border trying to cross over to participate in the Missing Women march this weekend drawing attention to the Missing and Murdered First Nation [Indigenous] Women in Vancouver. As I wrote about earlier on the blog, Canada has spent a considerable amount of money on policing for the Winter Olympics and this policing has been taking on particular political and racial over tones since the start of the build for the events. As I pointed out in that previous post, Indigenous activists have been complaining of racial profiling, harassment, and unfair detention related to the overarching political activism rather than the commission of any real crime. This policing was widely reported several months ago when Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman was also stopped at the border for being “too political” when she was actually traveling on a book tour without any intentions of covering the Olympics preparations. Her momentary detention at the border exposed the way Canadian officials were using the language of terrorism and the globalization of the prison-industrial-complex to discipline and punish political and social activism.
Yesterday, long time blogger-activist Nezua was also stopped at the border. He had taken a bus trip for hours with other activists going to show solidarity with Indigenous rights groups protesting the Olympic’s impact on Indigenous and poor communities in the area only to be turned around. After waiting in a customs’ holding area for a considerable amount of time, Nezua and a few other companions, all of whom were brown, were told they could not enter Canada on the basis of “previous criminal activity”, their crime: being involved in political actions in the past. As I spoke to Nezua, I found myself wondering if our educational privilege would be enough to white-out (pun intended) the political and social activism of 3 generations of my family known by the U.S.
Well, today we found out there answer: PhD does not protect you from PIC.
So we are stuck waiting while my white, male, heterosexual colleagues with PhDs and MDs argue with border patrol on our behalf. In the meantime, I am using the new mini computer we bought to type posts to the blog and get caught up on BHM posts for the week. Unfortunately, while it is easy to write a note to readers about how much customs sucks (hows that for millenium irony), it is less easy to write theoretical pieces complete with glossy images on this tiny machine. Nor can I seem to get them to save as draft so they keep publishing unfinished.
Hopefully in a few hours I can get all the posts done from a colleagues computer in Whistler and will be able to tell you that despite my gf being stopped for “looking like a lesbian” and me being stopped for daring to be related to some subversive folks …