House arrest – how does it feel?

The film below from China will give you an idea of the view from inside. 

It isn’t fun being a dissident.  I very much doubt if I would have the courage or the necessary bloody-mindedness to be one. Most of us internalize at least outward adherence to mainstream social values as a matter of practical commonsense.

The maker of this video (in 7 parts if you follow them all via the youtube url) is now in full-on detention again.  I don’t know enough about the actual contents of his dissidence. I suspect it is in some ways one of those things which just gained its own momentum, a bit like, in a more comical way, the unnameable party-boy with the big sunglasses and the pierced nipple in Australia. 

The maker of the video (see, I am even too cautious to name him directly on this blog) is generally described as an AIDS activist, which almost inevitably seems to lead to problems for reasons which are not immediately obvious but which I think have to do with the government’s and the party’s lack of tolerance for any independent NGOs and also the stench of corruption over the sale of blood and the subsequent AIDS epidemic in poor rural regions of China and Henan in particular.  He has also been a “human rights activist,” which seems to follow on from the first. 

His Wikipedia entry also says that he has been involved in anti-Japanese agitation, which I think shows that activism can have Chinese characteristics which may be a mystery to us.  I have always thought that Chinese who are keen on anti-Japanese agitation are just playing into the nationalist hands of the government of the day – but maybe that just goes to show you can never understand these things as an outsider.  Along the way, he has also garnered support from the Epoch Times. I am not at all keen on the Epoch Times. I wonder if this is just an application of “my enemy’s enemy is my friend.”

One Response to “House arrest – how does it feel?”

  1. Shame « Stumbling on melons Says:

    […] Jia, about whom I have timidly written before, has been imprisoned for three-and-a-half years for “inciting subversion of state […]

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