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 ZHANG Yunfan: My Confession to the People

ZHANG Yunfan: My Confession to the People

First of all, thanks to Qian Liqun, Kong Qingdong, Zhang Qianfan, Li Zuo, Chen Bo, Chai Xiaoming, Song Le i and many other teachers of Peking University; and Zhang Yaozu, Li Minqi, Tang Min and other PKU alumni at home and abroad; and Huang Jisu, Kuang Xinnian,Zhu Dongli, Qin Hui, Yu Jianrong, Xu Youyu and Song Yangbiao, Chen Hongtao, Fan Jinggang and more than 400 supporters from all walks of life!

Thank you all for your brave open support, so that I could come out of detention and be able to enjoy the sunshine again!

Please forgive me of being unable to express my gratitude to you in person!

I was released on bail on December 29, 2017. But after 30 days of “criminal detention” and 14 days of surveillance confinement, I found that the test of myself was just beginning. 丨 cannot let it pass but face it bravely.

Some say that I am a Peking University student, an ‘elite student’,though not a so self-serving one.

However, my most cherished identity is a Marxist and Maoist ("Mao Zuo"), a label that has been given different meanings by different people.

I can see that exploitation and oppression have never disappeared in the world. Many of my relatives used to be workers of state-owned enterprises. When I was very young, I witnessed how they were deprived everything during the state enterprises reform and thrown into the ‘jungle’ market. The broader vulnerable working class has nothing but to dedicate their youth and then their children to the deadly coal mine s and brutal sweatshop factories.

“I swallowed the industrial waste water, the unemployed orders /
Those lower than the machines died prematurely /
I swallowed running around, swallowed the displacement /
swallowed the pedestrian-bridge, swallowed the life covered with rust /
I could not swallow anymore /
All I have swallowed came out of my throat to transform into a poem of shame,
on the territory of our motherland"

(translator’s note: this poem was written by XU Lizhi, a worker poet who committed suicide in 2014)

Behind the country’s rise, it is the long long bloody shadow.

The poet jumped down from skyscraper, our faith of social change rises...

This is all the reason why I am determined to be loyal to the working people and believe in Marxism.

Some online ‘rumors’ are true, I really was a member of the PKU Marxist club when I was a student there .We did not just study those theoretical works at book-reading sessions, but also went wherever the under-privileged working people were. After singing, dancing, news discussion, movie showing, and English teaching with or for the campus workers, gradually I encountered greetings from these elder brothers and sisters wherever I went on campus. At the cafeteria, I often got special or extra treats.

After graduation I came to Guangzhou, in addition to getting a job to make a living, life is no different. To put it more noble, I continued to stick to my ideals at Guangdong University of Technology by attending reading sessions and volunteer activities. During the reading session when we got arrested, we discussed the historical process and social issues of the past decades, involving major historical events, workers' rights and so on. We discussed how young people should solve these problems. I admit that we also talked about the ‘turmoil’ that the students had been involved in the spring of 1989.

Someone must be curious, were my speech really too radical?

Of course, it was not as ‘standardized’ as the news papers/TV/textbooks tell. According to the mainstream criteria, admitting that there are many problems in the society is already ‘over-limit’, then to discuss how to solve social problems would be too ‘radical’.

Every country in the world has its own social problems. People would have many opinions on the solution to the problems, would that be a crime? No, this is a legal right!

Our Constitution expressively states: "Citizens of the People's Republic of China have the freedom of speech, publication, assembly, association, procession, and demonstration." If ‘radical’ discussion could make someone in criminal detention, then "freedom" is meaningless!

However, if the reason for arresting me was "discussing social issues," at least I felt that I was treated with seriousness. When I was detained on November 15, the police tried to label me with a "crime of illegal business" because I worked in the education industry. Perhaps it sounded too funny, the formal detention was under the crime of "Assembly to disturb the social order ". How can a 24-year-old youth be so powerful to be able to disrupt the "work, product ion, business, teaching, research, or medical services" in a university of over a thousand acres?

This is how anyone can be charge as a criminal out of nothing!

I was forced to admit that丨 was organizing secret activities. Then is there a secret organization?

What kind of secret organization do you need for a reading session? For group dancing in public squares?

All necessary simple division of responsibilities for reading sessions can be defined as ‘secret organization’ ?

I was also asked to admit that I had "extremist ideas ", pledged not to go to reading sessions in the future, and to give out the names of more people with the same ideas. Detention center’s cold floor, eight-hour continuous interrogation, the absolute loneliness during the surveillance confinement, too much mental torture to describe. When I was told that more people would be arrested because of me and my parents would be ‘affected’. I was unable to withstand such tremendous mental stress and wanted only to end it in a hurry, even if I could go to jail but other youth and families could get in peace. So, I compromised.

Then surprisingly丨 was released on bail. Surviving the absolute loneliness of surveillance confinement, for a while I could not speak and think clearly afterwards. After a dozen days of recovery,, I finally realized what I did wrong, and that my compromise was so useless!

Although 3 other young people of the same case (Sun Tingting, Zheng Yongming, Ye Jianke) were also released on bail, there are more left-wing youth (Xu Zhong Liang, Huang Liping, Han Peng, and my girlfriend Gu Jiayue) being online-tracked and pursued by the police! Our ‘crime’ has not been canceled and we are still in a position to get arrested any time, especially the 4 fellows who were never caught by the police and are now "fugitives" who are being pursued online by police.

I cannot imagine how the four of them are now. This must be the same as back in the days in the KMT occupied regions: the roaring police car, the obnoxious sirens, and the secret police with arrest warrants hunting the progressive youths with nowhere to go and nowhere to hide.

And I, too, can remain silent - can follow the instructions of the police: be "cautious", return to "normal" life, lay low in my room, study in front of a superficially calm desk, and become a “self-serving egotist." However, I will have to bear the burden of being convicted of a crime that I have not commit ted and consequently have to stay away from the stud y club and the working people I love.

What's more, I would also have to watch my girlfriend and other left-wing youths being chased for crimes they did not commit!

They will not as fortunate as me, as they do not come from prestigious schools. No one will be calling for their release. They cannot leave Guangzhou, nor can they retreat to Yan’an as back in those days. They are only faced with a long period of imprisonment!

I walked out of jail, but my conscience weighs heavily; | escaped the court, but will forever suffered under my own moral judgment. We are small and insignificant. But from now on, any idealist young man can b e arrested, any study group can be condemned, any volunteer work can be monitored and controlled, the idealistic spirit cannot be touched, the freedom of speech is extremely cheap, and Marx/Mao are all jokes!

How heartless must I be, to bow at this moment?!

I have heard many of you say "you have already done enough," "take the middle road”, “take a step backward, and vast seas and blue skies" await. Of course I understand that these are caring people concerning for me. But how can I hide from my girlfriend and my comrades, and become that "self-serving egotist"?

Not to mention the fact that "freedom of speech and speech" is supposed to be protected by the Constitution and that it cannot matter enough. Mao Tse-tung's theory is very clear and is never "the middle road"; I could have "taken a step backwards" to ensure myself "vast seas and blue skies." However, my girlfriend and comrades would plummet to an abyss.

Also falling into this abyss is the dignity of all young idealists!

Instead of living this humiliating life, it is better to face it! I can only tell the truth, no compromises; even if I may experience jail again, it is far better than this immediate suffering.

All caring people, I urge you to see - the person you are calling for is here, and he will not let you down. He will hold his head high and face the arriving storm!

He is ready!

Zhang Yunfan January 15, 2018

顶端 Posted: 2018-01-19 01:52 | [楼 主]
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顶端 Posted: 2018-01-19 01:53 | 1 楼
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