Guo Feixiong, a Civil Rights Hero

Guo Feixiong, a Civil Rights Hero

Human rights lawyer and activist Guo Feixiong (the pen name of Yang Maodong) was arrested in late 2013 on suspicion of “gathering a crowd to disrupt public order” after participating in the Southern Weekly anti-censorship protests in January of that year. He stood trial in late November 2014—after his lawyers boycotted an earlier session to protest procedural violations—and his verdict has yet to be announced. Following Guo’s trial, veteran journalist Xiao Shu wrote an op-ed in the Chinese-language edition of the New York Times, which China Change has now translated. In the article, Xiao Shu profiles Guo as a pioneer for China’s embattled civil rights movement:

A civil rights movement has been unfolding in China. As Martin Luther King Jr. was to the American civil rights movement, essential figures have been emerging from the movement in China. Guo Feixiong (郭飞雄), who was tried on November 28 for “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place,” is one of them.

While the American Civil Rights Movement fought for the rights of millions of African Americans, the Chinese civil rights movement is fighting for the rights of all but every Chinese citizen. For in China, it is not just the powerless who do not have rights; those who are in power are not protected by the law either, once they lose out in power struggles. Almost every Chinese can identify with African Americans fighting for civil rights in the 1960s, except that he or she is in an even worse lot where there is no freedom, equality or justice.

This is precisely why Guo Feixiong has devoted himself to the rights movement. […] [Source]

Read more about central authorities’ crackdown on civil society, via CDT.


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