Saturday, May 3, 2008

Reporting from PEN

This is maybe my third or fourth year attending the PEN festival here in NYC. It is always exciting to see what writers from around the world are thinking and doing. We are so isolated here in the US. This year the festival is dedicated to the writers and journalist who have been imprisoned in China. In each panel discussion there is an empty chair to represent a writer who is imprisoned for their writing.

Bloggers have been targeted for imprisonment. When the most famous blogger in Saudi Arabia was arrested for essentially nothing, it sent shock waves through the Saudi blogging community -- as was intended. (He was recently released.) What we take for granted and is a right here in the US is not so in other parts of the world. What we do here is important even with a small audience. We are one voice of a chorus. Each voice adds to the power of praise to free speech.

I will also be cross posting to


penandspindle said...

Charles Evans Hughes said, When we lose the right to be different, we lose the privilege to be free. Writers are as much at risk from bad corporate decisions as they are from political agendas. Both seek to conform opinion and churn out formula rather than promote reason which leaves space for learning. Thanks for sharing this as the line between expression and restriction is fine and we all should remember this.

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