Thursday, January 17, 2008

Wei Wenhua is More Inspirational Then Any Video Game- by Legal Pub


Legal Pub is regularly blocked in China. When a regular reader told me that while in Main Land China, he could not gain access to Legal Pub, shock and dismay filled my body. However some, like Wei Wenhua, were able to pierce the Government’s block and free their minds. Even though Wei Wenhua was a devoted communist, he became a crusader for free world wide access to blogs. Prior to his death, he began to use blogs to share facts that he observed. His quest to both learn and teach continues to be an inspiration in the free world. His silence by death has propelled him to martyr status in the eyes of his fellow country men.

Who was this inspirational man? Wei was the manager of a Chinese construction company. By most accounts, he was a good family member who respected the government but believed in freedom of speech and press. Last month, Wei was driving his car when saw about 50 city inspectors beating local villagers who were trying to stop trucks from dumping trash near their homes. Wei took photos with his cell phone. The city inspectors saw Wei and literally beat him to death. The 41-year-old Wei was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. .

Now China's media and their local blogs are taking up Wei’s cause and demanding justice. Sina.com published news of Wei’s death and received 8,000 posted comments. One blogger questioned, "Just who gave these city inspectors such absurd powers?"

In China, inspectors are called "chengguan." They are assistants to the local police and typically handle small crimes such as unlicensed trading. (With all the boot leg goods that come out of China, we can assume they have abandoned that task and created their own targets of enforcement.) Bloggers claim they often abuse their power and prey on the weak. Last year in Zhengzhou last year, college students scuffled with police and overturned cars after city inspectors roughed up a female student. Jeremy Goldkorn, editor of Danwei.org, wrote "Some bloggers [are] saying this whole chengguan system is prone to corruption and abuse and it should be disbanded."

Xiong Peiyun wrote in the Southern Metropolis Daily, "… Wei Wenhua's death stands as clear proof of the violent ways of local city inspectors. It's 2008 and another citizen goes down. When will we stand up and restrain the law enforcement violence of this city inspectors system?"

World wide, more and more victims are using blogs to report abuse of authority. Modern citizens, even in China, are now armed with technology that promotes freedom of speech and supplies an unprecedented check and balance on those in position of authority.

Wei has been elevated to the status of Sun Zhigang , the 27 year old who died in 2003 in Guangzhou. Zhigang was beaten to death while in jail for not carrying proper identification. Public outcry swelled to new heights propelled by blogosphere which resulted in some restrictions on the power to detain. Chinas evolving economy is loosening restrictions on the flow of information. In September, China had 172 million Internet users, 10 million more than in July. 4 million Chinese go online for the first time every month. Millions have opened blogs.

Article 35 of the Chinese Constitution is supposed to guarantee freedom of speech but the government continues to restrict the flow of information. Chinese authorities are stepping up efforts to monitor and restrict internet use. Reporters Without Borders fights against censorship and promotes freedom of the press.Internet data centers have been closed down, along with numerous Web sites. Controversial blogs like Legal Pub are blocked and unblocked at regular intervals.

Wei and his photos were erased on that fateful day. But his legend and inspiration lives. Welcome to our Chinese readers that are able to pierce the firewall of ignorance designed to oppress ordinary people. Only one word, that word is “courage.”

10 comments:

blond bombshell said...

Inspirational.

Loved the story!

Shell

greg said...

Awesome! China, welcome to freedom of thought...


Greg

Jess said...

Wow, what a story! It's amazing how the simple things we take for granted, like going on the Internet and reading a blog, are things other people in other countries can't do.

Ms Calabaza said...

Yes, we do take so much for granted . . . and to think, some of us don't bother to vote.
Great post, LP.

Anonymous said...

this reminds me to take the time to be thankful to those who keep us free.

Did You Stop to Think? said...

Leaves me speechless... a rarity, indeed.

Anonymous said...

We for Wei!

Anonymous said...

poor dude

Ms Calabaza said...

loved that, anonymous!

We for Wei too.

Anonymous said...

Courage. In our country, He is the man.