(This week, there were a lot postings and re-postings about what seems to be concerted efforts by well-known people as well as ordinary netizens to go to Linyi, Shandong Province, to visit the blind rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng (陈光诚, more here ) who is under illegal house arrest. Many people are now using Chen’s picture as their Weibo avatar.) Global Times also published an interesting editorial that claimed the situation was only bad in Linyi, because there is too much outside pressure.
- “They tied my hands on my back, covered my head, and pushed me into a vehicle. I was pushed down on my knees with my back and my neck also pressed down, being searched through. They took my cash, cell phone, recording pen, wedding ring and watch. As I stole a peek outside, slaps rained on my skull and [hands] pushed my head under clothes again. Someone kicked me hard on my bottom. When I tried to raise my head for a more comfortable position, I was met with [more] slaps and a foot stepping on my head and bending my neck.” —“My Trip to Yinan” (by Shi Yu , 石玉 , a journalist with the Xinhua News Agency who tried to pay Chen Guangcheng a private visit.)
- Gao Yu (Former editor of Business Watch-商务周刊, @高昱) ：The ugliness that is on display in Linyi, Shangdong, is like a vast whirlpool that has been more and more quickly sweeping away the trustworthiness and legitimacy of the regime that are already in short supply. From a blind lawyer in the Yimeng Mountains fighting for rights in the implementation of family planning, to citizens who visited him being illegally imprisoned, beaten and robbed under broad daylight, it is not just a few who are being kidnapped here.
- Li Qingzhen (@李清振)：The siege of Chen Guangcheng and his family is an undeclared but well-organized and planned war by the corrupt and barbaric officials in Linyi. To liberate Chen Guangcheng and his family, we must form fellowship with colleagues, friends and other citizens, and we must be prepared for all possible methods and tricks that may be used against us. With all the necessary preparations, let’s set out, from everywhere in the country, for Linyi.
- Yang Tong (Journalist with Fenghuang Weekly 凤凰周刊@杨桐) ：The most famous Chinese villages were once Dazhai, Huaxi, Nanjie, but now it is no doubt Dong Shi Gu (东师古, Chen Guangcheng’s village). In this strange village, farmers no longer farm; instead, they watch a blind man, who is seriously ill, and get paid 1,600 yuan per month. If they catch a visitor of his, they will receive 500 yuan reward money. They rob, kidnap and imprison people with the protection of police; and there, law, morality and ethics seem to have all evaporated with no trace. Congratulations, Linyi, Shandong, you have created an industry of high-risk tourism that is most uniquely Chinese!
- Sha Yexin (沙叶新, former director of Shanghai People’s Theatre): Yesterday I was interviewed by “Let’s Determine Right and Wrong” (“大家评评理”) show about supporting Guangcheng. Renowned intellectuals such as Qin Hui (秦晖) and Cui Weibing (崔卫平) had been interviewed already. It is said that the show is going to interview 100 opinion leaders throughout the country to gather media pressure, fight for human rights, and give freedom back to Guangcheng. Let’s all raise our fists like a forest and roar in the face of fascism. The other side seems strong, but it is really besieged by fear and concerns. We represent justice and we are the real strong ones, the unstoppable tide of world democracy! ( link)
- The Soul of Spartacus (斯巴达克斯之魂)：【Important News: Media is following up!】Today’s Dong Fang Daily published a commentary on page A16 entitled “Who Is Chen Guangcheng?” which points out the article on Global Times “is all clouds and mist… All media has to do is to tell the public, objectively and comprehensively, ‘who is Chen Guangcheng,’ and the public will decide the right and wrong.”【A print publication has begun to speak! Will more of them follow? 】
(You can read the commentary here. The original is already blocked.)
For some reason, I didn’t think the case of Chen Guangcheng had garnered that much attention inside of China. Apparently, I may have been mistaken. However, does the average person know his whole story or just a part of it? In other words, what is the actual take on Chen situation among those in China? Similar to Liu Xiaobo?
The effort to free Chen Guangcheng has been going on all these years. But it is only with the help of Weibo, that the effort is really taking off now. Today I read that over 100 people at this moment, in different groups and from throughout China, are reported to be going to Linyi (临沂）to visit him, but really, to confront the guards, the whole illegality and the abuse, and to send back their account and pictures, because for now, no one has been able to actually meet Chen Guangcheng.
No, Chopstik, most Chinese people don’t know who he is and what he did. But with the Weibo campaign raging on, it is fast becoming a national debate.
A good fight to pick and to have.
[…] Shandong province, the movement to free Chen Guangcheng continues to grow, but has been met with more violence. When Tom Lasseter from McClathchy […]