Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A tribute to Li Wangyang

There is a very tragic story out of China which should not go unnoticed by all who respect & honor those who place themselves at risk & give their lives for the ideals of human freedom. Li Wangyang (photo on the left) was a worker in a glass factory & a labor rights activist who advocated & set up labor unions independent of Chinese government control. In 1989, Li pasted a poster on a Shaoyang city traffic sign urging a general strike to support the democracy movement throughout China that became known as Tiananmen Square. Following the massacre of activists by the military, Li organized a memorial for the victims. As a result of his fearless activities, he served 21 years in prison on charges of counterrevolutionary propaganda, incitement, & subversion. During that time, he was subject to hard labor, torture, beatings (which caused blindness & loss of hearing), solitary confinement. In May 2011, Li was released for reasons of poor health & checked into a hospital for treatment of diabetes & heart disease. His sister visited him daily. Last week on June 6th, Li was found hanged in his hospital room which officials declared a suicide--& there isn’t a single person outside of the Chinese government stupid enough to  believe that. Li remained outspoken until his death in demanding vindication of those massacred at Tiananmen Square. He could not be broken so they murdered him. Thousands of protestors (photo on the right) marched in Hong Kong (on June 10th) to mourn Li & to demand a formal criminal investigation of his death. The banner in the foreground reads, “Mourn.” We should all take a moment to honor this remarkable man. May he rest in peace; may his life & death keep us steadfast & inspire a whole new generation of freedom fighters not just in China but throughout the world.  (Photo by Vincent Yu/AP)

No comments:

Post a Comment