July 15, 2017
“This was a long and public slaughter.”
Today, Xiaobo is gone. Xiaobo, our teacher, our classmate, is gone. The courageous man who protected others’ lives at the scene of the Tiananmen massacre has perished, and the beautiful soul behind Charter 08 has passed away.
Xiaobo was a writer, a scholar, a sage, but even more he was a man who acted on his word. He is the unforgettable dark horse in literary circles. His words radiate with rational brilliance; he sacrificed his frail body for Tiananmen; he used pen and ink to calmly write his beautiful freedom-seeking articles. Years of purgatory did not change his ideas. He said at the devil’s court—I have no enemies.
Xiaobo had no enemies. But the illegitimate Chinese communist regime that murdered him sees him as an enemy. Lengthy imprisonment destroyed him physically, and the kidnapping of his family tormented him mentally. Xiaobo is gone. He is gone in solitude; he is gone in the gaze of the world. This was a long and public slaughter. This was a shameless revelry by the despotic rulers.
However, the thieves with sharp fangs and claws were fearful of the unarmed Xiaobo. They dare not demolish the cage that besieged him; they dare not speak his name aloud; they even dare not to allow him a plot for a tomb. They thought the ashes of the dead being scattered into the sea is equal to being totally crushed. But what they don’t know is that in every drop of spray blown from the crests of waves is his reflection.
Xiaobo said: “I look forward to my country being a land of free expression, where different values, ideas, beliefs and political opinions… can compete and peacefully coexist.” “I hope to be China’s last victim for the crime of free thought.” This is the poem of a martyr who died for his ideals, as well as the prayer of scholars like us.
Xiaobo is gone, but the tyrants remain. As long as we live, we will not stop resisting. Xiaobo, we will always remember your name, for your dream is ours too.
The Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars (IFCSS) was founded on August 1, 1989, when over 1000 Chinese student representatives from more than 200 major U.S. universities held their First Congress of Chinese Students and Scholars in USA at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The mission of IFCSS was to promote democracy in China and to protect the interests of the Chinese students and scholars studying in the United States, as a response to Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.
Since its birth, IFCSS had become one of the most influential overseas Chinese students groups in history. It had lobbied successfully in U.S. Congress, organized the well-known “Washington March for Chinese Democracy” in 1989, and united tens of thousands of Chinese students together for many years since 1989. However, its relevance and importance have been declining for years, even though some of its members continues to organize Memorials for the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 in Washington D. C. every year, and provides financial assistance to Tiananmen victims on a regular basis.