After writing a widely-spread essay, “I Signed My Name After a Good Cry,” explaining her reasons for signing Charter 08, Persian Xiaozhao’s previous Sohu blog was closed down on January 13. She opened a new blog on Sohu, where she continues to write about Charter 08. This is the fifth post on the new blog, translated by CDT.
We Are in this Together
I have carefully gone through the signatures on Charter 08, from the first to the tenth batch, in the hope of finding more familiar names. They will make me feel close. I thought several good friends of mine would have signed their names, but I didn’t see them. I was quite disappointed.
Only two or three people that I personally know signed their names, but numerous friends on the Internet whom I’ve never met signed their names.
Many Internet friends left comments on my post “I signed my name after a good cry” before it was deleted. I collected some comments below – they are all from those who signed their names (on Charter 08).
Friend of Sohu [commenter not registered with Sohu]: Wang Jue, Wang Hengmin. We signed as well. We like your articles. Let’s shake hands. Tribute to you! (Xiaozhao’s note – Wang Jue and Wang Hengmin are the very ones who left the comment).
YeDuHanYa: I signed as well. It’s not a big deal. The worst is some jail time and they have to convict me of something if they want to send me to jail. Which article have I violated?
HongChengXunMeng: They wouldn’t have been deleting posts in such a crazy manner if they were not scared. Some people are much more feeble than us. I saw my name on the name lists. I am very happy. Hehe!
Liu Kesi: I signed as well, but afterwards my email account was frozen. So I am not sure if my name has made it on the list or not.
YueShangNiu: You should be prepared in terms of what to say when state security people approach you. I am prepared already. I can’t open the fxxking stuff I saved in my email draft folder. It’s not finished yet. I suspect something is wrong.
Friend of Sohu: “I cried because a post I re-posted was deleted” – Yes, I cried also. The candlelight of hope was ruthless extinguished, so I cried. There is no freedom of speech, so I cried. I also signed my name in the end.
XuXiaKe: I signed, but I don’t think they’ll do anything big to me. What can they do? Deprive my right to life? I reckon they dare not do that yet!
Natural love: I tried to sign my name on the link the first time you re-posted it, but I couldn’t open it. I came back and signed my name on your post’s comments section. I was worried it didn’t count that way, so again I tried to open the link twice but failed to open it.
Friend of Sohu: I also signed. I didn’t cry when I read Charter 08. I just felt the limitless power it gave me. I cried when I knew Xiaozhao had cried. I wasn’t moved to tears by her tears, but I cried out of frustration and helplessness — We are still a minority after more than 100 years!!!
Lianzi: “We are deprived of the rights that we are supposed to enjoy. Those who hold public power are supposed to change all this, but they are not going to. They are obsessed with torturing some people and intimidating some others and the result is an eerily silent burial ground that used to be a great land.” We hope they’ll change. If they won’t change, then we should be prepared to fill their prisons. Only anger stays in the heart after tears dry up.
Green*: I signed in the morning and my name appeared on the sixth batch of names that came out in the evening. I had an urge to sign my name when I first read Charter 08, but I didn’t how I could do it. When the chance came, I signed without any hesitation. I forgot the date, but I prepared my clothes right after signing my name. I am ready. I don’t want to go to jail, but I am not afraid of going to jail.
TianDiChanYuan: Those who did not sign their names do not necessarily not support the Charter. Everyone has their own way to express and act. Others choices must be respected. We should not judge people by whether they signed their names to the Charter or not. By the way, I have signed my name, in the fifth batch.
Jianzhongboke: I have signed my name, in the fourth batch. State Security agents have visited me for this already.
Suppertimes: Thanks Xiaozhao. I also signed.
Evil Citizen: I am one of the 616 names on the ninth batch. Don’t despise me for signing it so late. Nobody bothers to harass me so far.
Qiu Hong: I read your “cry” post, which is quite sensationalist and touching. I also signed and someone spotted my name on the eighth batch. I am too lazy to climb over the Great Firewall to see it myself.
As my first Sohu blog and Bullog were shut down, these precious comments all disappeared. They can only be posted here because I saved them beforehand on my hard drive.
1,2,3,4……Let’s count it. There are 17 friends who have signed their names above. If I count myself in, there will be 18 people gathering on my blog who have signed their names. Good! My dear friends, I cheer you for that! No matter whether we know each other or not, I know you are with me, with enthusiastic hearts in our chests and hoping to shoulder our share of civil responsibilities for the country. I am not scared, because you are with me.
A media person said this to me in an email: “Xiaozhao, I showed your blog to my colleagues in the industry. They are all very moved. Some people asked me to tell you that you should be confident – Perhaps before our retirements we can cast our own votes. In this harsh winter season, it’s easier for us to warm each other back to back.”
The email made me feel so warm. I will never know who his friends are, but I thank them for giving me support quietly. I absolutely believe that I’ll have a right to vote before retirement. Change is set to come. The only thing I don’t know is the exact time and specific manner in which it will come.