In China, a Grassroots Activist Dresses Down Police Officers on a Bus

By Zhang Jiyang, published: February 15, 2014


Following the death of a young Chinese dissident’s father in the hands of the authorities in Qufu, Shangdong (山东曲阜), hometown to none other than Confucius, right around the Chinese New Year, activists from around the country converged on that town to seek the truth, followed by a few rights lawyers. Zhang Jiyang (张激扬), an activist from Sichuan, posted his encounter with the police. –The Editor


When I arrived in Qufu on February 3, other netizens who had arrived earlier had been confined in a guesthouse and monitored. Unable to join them, I checked into a place myself.  The next day two other netizens, one was Lan Zhansheng (兰占生) from Hebei province and the other Lin Xiuli (林秀丽) from Qingdao, arrived, and we got together and checked into a small guesthouse.

At about 11pm on February 4, a large group of police officers and plainclothes barged into our room. They were rude and rowdy. They first demanded to check our IDs, then punched and kicked us! Later we, two men and a woman, were taken to Qufu Xiguan police station, where the police cited “reports of illegal gathering” for detaining us. After interrogating us and recording the interrogations in writing, they still refused to let us go, stating that they had to follow orders from their superiors. So they locked us up in the police station.

At 9am on the 5th, they led us out of the police station. While they tried to get us onto a mini-bus, I asked them whether we were being freed. “If we are free, then just let us go. If we are not free, then keep us in detention.”

Activists heading to Qufu. Photo posted on Twitter.

Activists heading to Qufu. Photo posted on Twitter.

The police said they were taking us to the train station. So they wanted to send us home. I asked, “Why would we want you to send us home? If we are free, then we should be let go!” The police did not answer. Following the direction of a security police officer, the officers pushed the three of us onto the bus, heading to the train station.

On the bus, I ask them, “Why are you so scared of us coming to Qufu?  You are afraid we will discover the truth about Xue Fushun’s death, aren’t you? So what is the truth anyway? Why are you trying so hard to cover it up? It is because if the truth is uncovered, some of you will be punished by the law! That is why you beat us, arrested us and detained us! You are the ones who are scared, not us.”

I went on, “I have told you my name. Will you tell me your names? Do you dare?”

The police officers on the bus were quiet.

Presently, Lan Zhansheng who sat in the last row was about to take pictures with his cellphone. An officer stepped forward to stop him. I shouted at him, “Don’t you have police forces? Don’t you have prisons? You also have militaries and nuclear weapons, why are you afraid of a tiny cellphone? Because a cellphone can have truth and justice in it and that is why you are so scared. What you have  done can’t be exposed to daylight! You know what cannot be exposed to daylight? Darkness! Darkness shuns light!”

To the officers who filled the bus, I continued: “All of you are just lowly officers. Look at your bosses, the station chief, the bureau chief, the provincial public security department chief, the public security minister, which one of them is not corrupt? Do you really want to sweat your guts out for them?”

To an officer who had been particularly eager, I asked him, “Why are you so gung-ho on arresting us?  Is it because you want to get promoted and get rich in this unjust society?”

No one answered my questions. I took a deep breath and continued, “All of you, look at yourselves! From your uniform to your pay, everything comes from us, the taxpayers. How can you point your guns at us? I hope you think it over!”

I talked and talked, all the way to the Qufu train station. Because of the Chinese New Year travel congestion, they couldn’t get us tickets, so they continued to drive us to Yanzhou (兖州) where they put us on a train to Jinan (济南), capital of Shandong province.

Before boarding the train, I shook hands with each and every these police officers. “Next time when you come face to face with people like us,” I said to them, “I hope you would not use violence, and you will raise your guns by one inch (meaning “showing mercy and even connivance”). Be an officer with conscience, will you?”



Dissidents’ Human Rights and Civil Rights Are Inviolable, a Statement by Some Members of the Civil Rights Concern Group on the Unnatural Death of Xue Mingkai’s Father, Xue Fushun


(Translation by Yaqiu Wang)

Chinese original

One response to “In China, a Grassroots Activist Dresses Down Police Officers on a Bus”

  1. jackforeigner says:

    Wow, you activists are so brave, y’all scare me! 😉

    Good luck, and much success….

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