Liu Xiaobo and his prize

I don’t think of ReallyRedding as a political blog. But in fact, every act of written expression is a political act in this world. The recent award of the Nobel Prize to Chinese writer Liu Xiaobo makes this painfully clear.

“The internet is God’s present to China
by Liu Xiaobo
Today there are more than 100 million internet users in China. The Chinese Government is ambivalent towards it. On the one hand, the internet is a tool to make money. On the other, the Communist dictatorship is afraid of freedom of expression.
The internet has brought about the awakening of ideas among the Chinese. This worries the Government, which has placed great importance on blocking the internet to exert ideological control.
In October 1999 I finished three years of jail and returned home. There was a computer there and it seemed that every visiting friend was telling me to use it. I tried a few times but felt that I could not write anything while facing a machine and insisted on writing with a fountain pen. Slowly, under the patient persuasion and guidance of my friends, I got familiar with it and cannot leave it now. As someone who writes for a living, and as someone who participated in the 1989 democracy movement, my gratitude towards the internet cannot be easily expressed.

I really enjoyed the exquisite weather this lovely Fall Redding weekend. I enjoyed the natural beauty, the freedom to travel freely about the Northstate.
Redding area highway and Lassen Peak
I am enjoying the freedom now to write about this controversial subject. Liu Xiaobo is in jail for for 11 years for the crime of trying to enjoy the same basic freedoms we dare not take for granted. His wife is now under house arrest because of his new international recognition. Here are the words of the man who nominated him:

“The courageous men and women who are challenging tyranny in these countries are looking to the governments and leading non-governmental institutions in free countries for assurances that their fate, and the fate of their countries, depends on something more than the bottom line. To fail to challenge the Chinese government on Liu Xiaobo’s imprisonment is to concede this argument internationally, at enormous peril to peaceful advocates of progress and change not just in China but all around the world. “

You can sign a petition demand to free Liu Xiaobo at this link.

Or not.

Either way, you will be making a political statement.

Freedom of expression, the real prize. It’s ReallyRedding.

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