The Beijing-based Yitong law firm has been ordered to closed down for six months, because civil rights lawyer and noted blogger, Liu Xiaoyuan (刘晓原), had petitioned for direct elections of leaders in the Beijing Lawyers Association.
Another Beijing-based blogger, Laohumiao [aka Zhang Shihe] has worked in the past with Liu Xiaoyuan to help homeless people who lived near the Tiananmen Square area. His efforts were chronicled in a profile in today’s New York Times. Laohumiao published the following letter from the homeless on his blog, translated by CDT’s Andrew Willis:
Lawyer Liu must not leave – A letter from the homeless of Tiananmen to the relevant offices.
Written by Laohu Miao (Tiger Temple)
To the relevant work units:
We are a group of drifters that wanders Tiananmen Square; most of us are from the countryside. We came because of unforeseen changes in our families, or because we lost our land; the majority of us are orphaned, old, or handicapped, and there are also elderly women who have come to Beijing to plead for justice.
We are cared for by the residents of Beijing, all Chinese citizens, and the Netizens, and now have places to live and are no longer cold or hungry. We have only one intention, to earn a little money and plan-out our lives. Under the care of all these good people, we trust that life will go on. Before the New Year, many people came to celebrate with us, to eat the traditional New Year’s Eve meal. Happily gathered under one roof, we felt that the world really was full of kindness.
We don’t know if Lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan works in Yitong Law Firm, but when we heard Master Zhang’s [Laohu Miao’s] introduction, and saw Master Zhang’s nervous appearance, we realized that Lawyer Liu was in trouble. We couldn’t understand the situation that Master Zhang referred to, but we understand that Lawyer Liu is one-in-a-million, and a good lawyer. If he loses his job, then Heaven must be blind. Last night, 24 of us homeless living in a government house had a little meeting, and those women who had received Lawyer Liu’s help and care were especially worried; they had already begun weeping for Lawyer Liu. They’ve said there are no lawyers like Lawyer Liu who seriously consider their petitions. They believe that meeting Lawyer Liu is their greatest fortune. Why must he meet with disaster? We don’t know the overarching reasons, but what we want to say is that if the world doesn’t allow good people to exist, then this world certainly has problems.
For over a year Master Zhang has worked hard on our behalf, all of Tiananmen’s transients love to hear him speak. He is our leader, and since he has told us about Lawyer Liu’s situation and their work unit’s situation, we cannot help but speak several words to the public. Even small drops of kindness will be repaid with gushing springs. We plead for the relevant offices to consider the general situation; this situation was handled poorly and should be researched again.
Below are the signatures of the homeless of Tiananmen. Please consider our groups’ supporting vote for Lawyer Liu and his work unit.
[Note by LaoHu Miao (Tiger Temple): At the end of 2008, Lawyer Liu accepted a job offer to become a legal advisor for the rights of the homeless.］
Signatures: Wang Yuhai, Min Shunqin, Gao Junhua, Zhang Xianping, Wang Zhiqing, Miyun, Zhang Zhi’an, Liu Deqin, Wang Yun, Dong Bei， Xu Jicheng, Song Baoguo, Wu Quanwei, Hei Zhang, Chai Xiulan, Ma Huarui, Hua Dexiu, Yu Xiuqing, Dong Xiuqin… [All in Beijing]
Read also: Who “Harmonized” Us? – Liu Xiaoyuan (刘晓原) on CDT.