Phoenix Weekly Interviews Lu Banglie – Ma Ya
In the recall incident at Taishi village, Panyu, Guangdong, a surprising figure is the young peasant Lu Banglie who was once reported in the media for being elected as the Hubei province Zhijiang city people’s congress representative through the “other alternative” method. As a village director who was elected with a high 80% of the votes, he was not leading his neighbors in his impoverished village down the road to wealth. Instead, he showed up for a peasant rights movement in another village in another province. How did he get mixed up in this matter? And what did he encounter during the process?
About this, the reporter interviewed Lu Banglie twice.
……Reporter: “Could it that under the circumstances, you got very excited and emotional and you did not want to let go?”
Lu: “Scholars and lawyers go to the village and get assaulted. I feel that there is no solution for the villagers if any outsiders can properly get in to help but cannot leave. I don’t care if I have to give up my life, but I want to see if I can change things. I know that the risks are very high, but if something goes wrong, so be it.”
Reporter: “Did you consider your mother and daughter?”
Lu: “I purchased an insurance policy. If something goes wrong, I can only use money to make it up to them.”
Reporter: “When you were interviewed by the outside, you said that you will continue to pay attention to this matter and provide help to the peasants.”
Lu: “I will definitely provide legal help.”
Reporter: “Are you sure that this thinking is clear-minded as opposed to brash and blind?”
Lu: “I am definitely not blind. I thought that to promote grassroots democracy in China, it is hard to bring it about without paying the price with lives.”
Reporter: “Is this what you thought up? Or perhaps someone else influenced you?”
Lu: “This is what I came to after thinking about it for a long time. I have definitely come across many ideas, and I analyzed them to come up with this. I feel that China can advance only if there is democracy.”
Reporter: “How much do you understand about democracy?”
Lu: “First of all, democracy respects the right of the people to elect and recall. That is the most basic. As for the deeper democracy, we can slowly think, explore and learn … when government officials mistreat common people and go unpunished, how can there be any development?”