Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Internet posters of #cn220 release a statement on Feb. 22

(Repost) The Boxun blog has posted the following English translation of a message that claims responsibility for the Chinese Jasmine calls to revolution.

Announcement from the initiators of China's "jasmine revolution":

We are the initiators of the "jasmine" revolution

We have seen how the Chinese society has already collapsed completely, how poisonous food products are breeding like flies and how the younger generation has already suffered deeply from this. The autocratic regime in China have lost their believes and become an organization that share the booty, incapable of saving itself, day by day it is becoming more and more fascistic. The political system is rotten and corruption has run amock. The independence of the courts is being reversed and government officials and their children have monopolized all the resources of the system. Society has become extremely polarized and there is a wide gap between the rich and the poor. Prices are rising, especially real estate prices, causing seething popular discontent. The human rights situation for people in China is disgusting, arbitrary detentions and kidnappings are widespread. News is heavily censored and the livelihoods of media professionals are smashed one after another. The 35 articles of The Constitution perform practically no function; people's properties are recklessly plundered and demolished homes lead to death; sometimes people even light themselves on fire. China has already been reduced to a dark hole of resources, the environment is polluted, the eco-system is destroyed and our children and grandchildren are left a legacy of nothing but trouble.

We deeply feel that the root of all this is the autocratic regime. What makes us even more troubled is that the rulers have already closed off our increasing numbers of communication channels. When investigating government offices we are not only competing with the children of government officials, but also with business interests. We have no way of matching the capital of the big wigs of "the nation advances, the people are left behind." We can do nothing but to bear the weight of high real estate prices and high inflation on our shoulders and struggle to eke out a living; we never see a future.

We only possess a virtual space where we can feel that we exist. Last week we initiated China’s “Jasmine revolution” because we hoped to borrow momentum from the democratization of North Africa and the Middle East and we urge China to reform or change; to change the unfair and unjust situation of the present - a situation of gradual degradation.

We were pleasantly surprised by the activities that took place on February 20th, but we also feel grief and indignation that over a hundred people including Tang Jitian, Teng Biao, Jiang Tianyong, Liu Guohui, Gu Chuan, Chen Wei, Ran Yunfei, Zhu Yufu, Jiang Danwen, Yao Lifadeng, Li Tiantian, You Jingyou, Zhang Lin, Wu Lebao, Qian Jin, Li Wenge, She Wanbao, Li Yu, Zhang Shanguang, Ding Mao, Zhou Li, Wang Sen, Pu Fei, Wang Wusi, Ni Wenhua, Liu Pingdeng, Liao Shuangyuan, Huang Yanming, Lu Yongxiang, Xiao Yong, Zhang Jianzhong, Lou Baosheng, Wei Shuishan, Mo Zhixu, He Yang, Li Renke, Cha Jianguo, Lu Gang, Zhang Shihe (Laohumiao), Chen Xintao, Huang Yaling, Ji Zhiyong, JinYuehua, Sun WenGuang, Li Xiongbing, Zhao Fengsheng, Huang Yaling, Li Heping, Wei Zhenling, He Huan, Li Di, Wei Qiang, Zhang Xianchi, Xue Mingkai, Li Jinfang, Feng Zhengfu, Wang Lihong, Li Xinai, Wang Yongzhi, Shi Xiaobo, Wang Yuqin, You Gui, Di Minglei, Wu Wenjian, Wu Chaoyang, Hua Chunhui, Deng Taiqing, Zhang Dajun, Xu Zhiyong, Wang Yongzhi, Wang Wu, Jia Chunxia, Ye Du, Ye Haiyan, Lan Wuyou, Huang Wei, Shi San, Wei Lanyu, Luo Yuheng, Duan Qixian, Zhang Wei, Hu Shigen, Gao Hongming, Xu Yonghai, Zhang Hui, Zhang Jiankang have suffered from being put in house arrests or taken into custody by the authorities. Among these people, Tang Jitian, Jiang Tianyong, Teng Biao, Liu Guohui, Gu Chuan, Chen Wei and Ran Yunfei have been taken into custody without legal procedures and have still not been able to communicate with the outside world.

The above-mentioned people had nothing to do with the “Jasmine” revolution of February 20th, and by taken them into custody or putting them in house arrest the authorities have illustrated just how recklessly they violate human rights .

The night of February 21st we had a long discussion to confer if we should collectively give ourselves up to the law to avoid that the above-mentioned people, who are still in custody and who had nothing to do with this, get into trouble, but we are many people who have participated to different degrees and we could not reach a uniform decision about collectively giving ourselves up to the law.

We call on the authorities to immediately release these people, who had nothing to do with this. Regardless of how the authorities decide to respond, we will continue to mobilize at the locations that were announced for February 20th (the locations have been slightly changed). The locations that have changed will be announced on Wednesday this week. If we are unable to announce this online due to the current conditions of the internet, we ask our friends to gather at the locations of last week. We call on our friends to enthusiastically participate. A small step for us is a great leap for changing the despotic status quo.

The initiators of the "jasmine" revolution

February 22nd 2011

Beijing Interferes With Journalists: IFJ

The International Federation of Journalists has issued the following statement.

Media Release: China
February 22, 2011

Journalists Blocked When Reporting ‘Jasmine Revolution’ Protests in China

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is deeply concerned by reports that police and security agents intervened when journalists attempted to cover protests dubbed the “jasmine revolution” in China on February 20.

Many non-mainland journalists were blocked or harassed when covering the protests in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou on the day.

A Hong Kong journalist told the IFJ he was closely followed by a security officer who prevented him from making contact with a number of dissidents in Guangzhou. The journalist was harassed by the officer when investigating the case of a human rights lawyer, who was injured in a beating by five plain clothes officers after he tried to attend the Guangzhou protest.

“The security officer blocked my path to reach the injured lawyer and tried to snatch my cell phone when I recorded his unpleasant behaviour,” said the journalist, who requested anonymity. The officer also damaged the journalist’s phone in the incident.

The English service of state-controlled Xinhua News Agency reported on the protest but the stories later disappeared from its website. Xinhua’s Chinese service did not report the story at all.

“It’s only a show to foreign media - I’m not surprised,” a mainland journalist told the IFJ.

“We haven’t received any orders from the Central Propaganda Department regarding the ‘jasmine revolution’ so far but no relevant reports were published in Chinese media – it’s because anyone who publishes will be fired right away.”

The IFJ’s monitoring of China’s media in recent years has discovered that the authorities will often order punitive action, such as sacking and demotions, against journalists who are working to freely report the news.

“Protests in three separate locations in China are a matter of legitimate public interest, and we applaud those journalists who bravely attempt to cover these events under intense scrutiny and at risk to their livelihoods,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan White said.

“A number of leaders of China’s central authorities have publicly affirmed that public has the right to know about what is happening in their communities.

“Without the right to speak, these affirmations are hollow.”

China authorities further restricted online messaging services and articles after the protests were announced on an overseas website on February 19, the day before the protests took place. Relevant information was totally blacked out and the website was attacked fiercely afterwards.

The IFJ urges central authorities to respect the rights of its citizens to enjoy their freedom of expression and freedom of the press, underwritten by Article 35 of China’s Constitution.