Liu Xiaobo — Humanity’s Hero

It seems like such a simple right: I’m sitting here writing my blog, or you’re sitting there reading it …neither of us fearing that the state Police will break down our doors, throw handcuffs on us, scare the hell out of our families, seize our computers and cart us away to be imprisoned … maybe even beaten.

But that is reality in China.

That great country, rising economic giant still years for our respect .. and acceptance as an “equal”, while it ignores basic human rights and governs its people as a dictatorship..

Never should it get our respect or full acceptance , as it now exists!  Not until their leaders, their courts, their laws start showing respect for their people, their rights, their dignity …and release Liu Xiabo and other prisoners whose only crimes were to speak out for freedom and basic rights.

Liu Xiabo is serving an 11-year sentence in China for “subversion”.  His crime? Advocating for the right to peaceful political change.

The internationally well respected (eat your hearts out, Chinese leadership!) scholar, writer, poet and social commentator staged a hunger strike during the 1989 Tienanmen Square protests… and helped neogtiate the eventual stand-down and withdrawal  by Chinese students and democracy demonstrators. His reward for that: almost constant harrassment and persecution from the fascists in charge of China.

Then in 2008, his latest arrest, after helping author a pro-democracy manifesto that began circulating on the Internet. It urged freedom, human rights and equality as “universal values shared by all humankind.”   Dangerous, unacceptable thoughts in China …a crime that has seen Liu in prison ever since.

Now, Liu has been honored with the Nobel Peace Prize.  Bravo!  Well deserved!  The least the free world can do, since our leaders lack the fortitude and/or economic independence and detrmination to take stronger action against China.

The Chinese government has reacted like the bullies they are:  THREATENING countries that attend the Nobel Prize Ceremony; placing Liu’s wife under house arrest so she could not leave the country to attend the ceremony; and, by even cutting off the entire country’s access to international Internet sites …as if forcefully burying their people’s heads in the sand would prevent them from seeing what is going on outside the world’s largest prison.

And take a look at the list of countries that acceded to China’s call for a Nobel ceremony boycott ..  in most cases, not much of a surprise and,in some cases, criminal regimes themselves: Afghanistan, Columbia, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Iraq,  Kazakhstan, Morocco, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Ukraine, Venezuela and Viet Nam.  They have shamed themselves, .. and in most cases …not for the first time!  It’s a list we should all take note of and not forget.

I do understand the complexities of governing such a huge population in such a large country, where tribalism and clan animosities could pose threats to stability if left unchecked, but there is no justification for denying Chinese citizens their right to speak out, protest or enjoy basic freedoms.

Liu Xiaobo is humanity’s hero.   

He deserves our respect; our voices, and our continuing efforts to not only free him …but also make it loudly known to Chinese officials EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD that they will never get the respect they crave from the Western world until they start deserving it.

All Bloggers  should stand with Liu.

Harv Oberfeld

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11 Responses to Liu Xiaobo — Humanity’s Hero

  1. morry says:

    @H.O. “All Bloggers should stand with Liu.”

    I would add that all Freedom Loving People should stand for Liu Xiaobo .

    I think that China’s dismal record on Human Rights and their cavalier attitude towards the Noble Peace prize should act as a wake up call. With economic might they will get ever more bold .. and not in a good way. Their abuse of HR, the environment, safety issues, etc should have us all concerned.

    (Response: One of the things I like about our federal government Harper is that they have spoken out and acted on human rights, where the Libs or NDP have largely remained silent and done nothing. h.o)

  2. diverdarren says:

    I’m sorry Harvey, I wont be joining the finger wagging. It’s a bit hypocritical.

    We can all sit in our towers and look down at the Chinese dictatorship, but I don’t think we are willing to do what is necessary to really bring about change. We all enjoy our way of life with access to cheep consumer goods; my computer like most everything we all use is made in China. Our leaders can talk from one side of their mouth that China must change their ways, then sign another trade agreement and build closer ties to the economic powerhouse that is China.

    “Liu Xiaobo is humanity’s hero.” Sure, but nobody wants a hero in China. We want the status-quo. Chinese enjoy their new found wealth and have no interest in revolution, and we enjoy our cheep goods. I guess Liu Xiaobo is more of a sacrifice than a hero.

    (Response: I did not say we should not do business with China. But they need our markets more than we need their goods (India, Bangladesh etc would be more han happy to fill in). We should NEVER stop from calling China out on their breaches of human rights; and they must know they will NEVER be accepted as equals until they stop harrassing, imprisoning and abusing those who just want basic freedoms. h.o)

  3. morry says:

    “We should NEVER stop from calling China out on their breaches of human rights; and they must know they will NEVER be accepted as equals until they stop harrassing, imprisoning and abusing those who just want basic freedoms. ”

    Hear! Hear! Lets not be weak-kneed pussies. Canada is and must continue to call them on their abuses. I don’t give a damn for their cheap goods. ..especially when they come at a high HUMAN cost!

    (Response: It’s pretty hard not to buy good made in China and I have nothing against such products, as long as the workers who produce them work in good conditions and are fairly paid. Our protests must be directed against the Chinese government…not the Chinese people … who are the real victims of their leaders’ failings. h.o)

  4. Lynn says:

    We should start worrying about freedom from censorship here too.

    (Response: Absolutely. And we have seen more and more of our freedoms eroded: under the excuses of G-20 meetings, Olympic requirements or just government secrecy and privacy needs etc. But believe me, what we face is NOTHING compared to what goes on in China or most of those 16 coward countries who gave into China’s pressure not to attend the Nobel ceremony. h.o)

  5. Mo says:

    But nonetheless Lynn has made a good point. I am so so so disappointed with the BC media and BC Journalists for not, i repeat not, doing their job in shining a light on the un-democartic doings of the Campbell government, shameful stuff when you come right down to it. And i am not just picking on th Liberals. It could be anyone. It’s just that we have lost the voice of the great independent crusty journalists. the MEDIA owners want to feed us junk-news served up by “beauties” such as Tamarra. But many of us ain’t buying it. And you mr h.o. need to do your part. Keep up the good fight. I was not following you to see if you were up on the scam that was the basi/virk bc rail sellout trial. Did you do your bit to expose the governments monkey doings?

    Are you busy investigating the scam that is the basi/virk legal pay-outs??

    (Response: I’m retired. My blog (unlike others that are funded or have ads or sell subscriptions) produces zero revenues and and I prefer to spend my pension time out enjoying myself …so I do not do any investigating or reporting. My hobby is commenting on issues that interest me…and I enjoy offering up those not covered or forgotten in most media or blogs . So if there’s something YOU feel needs more investigation … you can always go ahead and do it yourself others do. h.o)

  6. Lynn says:

    I agree, Harvey, however as we strive to spread the gospel about rights, freedom and censorship in far away lands we will begin to lose sight of our own.
    Another thought about cheap goods produced in China:
    The goods are cheap to produce and shipped to our shores, but as a consumer don’t realise that cost savings.
    Asian people live in those factories your computer is built in. Their “room and board” is deducted from their small salaries. They work injured for fear of losing their job.
    Every single consumer on this planet is condoning the treatment. So, think about that next time you buy a pencil, a radio, a computer, a hand mixer, groceries.
    Yes, veggies grown in a field next to a factory spewing effluent in ditches. The same ditches that are used to water said veggies.
    Kind of makes one sick on all levels doesn’t it?
    We have farmers and manufacturers who are dying a slow death, too.
    What about them, folks?
    Let’s worry about our own backyard before pointing at a neighbour’s.

    (Response: I think we are smart enough to multi-task …care and speak up about both. As for pay rates overseas, I sometimes wonder if people working in those factories know what we pay, in their funds, for a pair of running shoes etc. compared to what they get to make them. h.o)

  7. Wilson says:

    Damned Harv. Do you mean to tell us there are worse places to live then here in B.C. ? Listening to the media I thought we were the worst place on the planet. We have HST on our coffee and my healthcare bill is about to go up $ 7 Bucks. How can I afford a new wireless mouse on my fixed income with these horrific travesties of democracy? Damn we have it rough here in B.C.

    (Response: Just don’t let Gordon Campbell know what others do to bloggers and social commentators …and those who read them. 🙂 h.o

  8. 13 says:

    China buys US debt. They can pay in US dollars. Ship after ship load of goods made in China arrive daily. They get paid in US dollars. They realize that US dollars are becoming worth less and less all the time. They spend the US dollars to buy up hard assets and property in the US. They also buy many goods and properties in Canada. The west side of Vancouver and the Westwood Plateau.
    So if we want to force China to behave in a way that we find acceptable we must not only not buy their goods we must STOP selling them our real estate. At some point they will own so much of our country that how we feel about their behavior will be meaningless. I agree that human rights dont mean much over there but it wont be long before over there and over here are one and the same. I worry that our democracy is being sold to China at an alarming rate. Mcleans magazine writes about our universities becoming to assian and every politicaly correct person feels uncomfortable.

  9. Mo says:

    @13 you are so right on the money!

    Woe is us… We have sold out.

    It’s a travesty.

  10. Lynn says:

    Right on the button, 13.
    Well said.

  11. Dan R says:

    The Noble Peace prize is rubbish anyway. Guys like Obama(for what???) and monsters like Kissinger were awarded them…

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