In her opening anecdote, Amy Goodman, investigative journalist and host of Democracy Now!, told the large crowd at Brilliant Cultural Centre about the time she was detained at the Canadian border.
She was held for 90 minutes back in 2009 while Canadian border guards questioned her about what she was planning to speak about at the Vancouver Public Library, where she was going to give a talk. It turns out they were concerned about whether or not she was planning to talk about the 2010 Olympics.
“When she opened with the story about the border crossing that was illuminating,” said Thomas Dodsworth, a fan of Democracy Now!. “I mean, it’s kind of embarrassing to be Canadian and have our border guards treat such a renowned journalist that way. It was shocking; I didn’t know that took place.”
Goodman’s talk focused on the value of independent journalism in a democracy and she emphasized the importance of giving a voice to the people.
“You do not achieve democracy, you have to fight for it every day,” Goodman said.
In particular, she told the audience about covering two separate protests that both led to legal trouble.
Goodman was arrested during protests at the 2008 Republican National Convention, after trying to question police about the arrests of Democracy Now! producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar, and had a warrant issued for her arrest while covering the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline. Goodman didn’t end up serving jail time in either case.
“It’s our job to capture it all,” she said.
Goodman’s talk received a standing ovation, and many lined up to speak with her afterwards.
“Amy was fantastic. I was following Standing Rock and saw when she was arrested,” Catherine Zaitsoff said following the talk. “It’s such a treasure to be able to bring her here.”
Goodman’s talk was part of the Selkirk College’s Mir Lecture Series.
To follow Goodman’s reporting, visit DemocracyNow.org.