We want free speech
From China Digital Space
wǒmen yào yánlùn zìyóu 我们要言论自由
Online rallying cry that followed the death of Dr. Li Wenliang, who was reprimanded for "spreading rumors" about a mysterious illness that would later be named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and become a pandemic.
In late 2019, Dr. Li warned of a "SARS-like" illness originating in a Wuhan wet market, and was officially admonished by authorities. Li contracted the novel coronavirus from a patient, and news of his hospitalization was censored. On February 7, 2020, Li died from COVID-19, and censors worked hard to "control the temperature" of online news and discussion. That same day, Weibo users started posting with the hashtag #wewantfreespeech (#我们要言论自由#), invoking the right to freedom of speech guaranteed in Article 35 of China's constitution and calling for an end to censorship and information controls. The topic page created by this hashtag was soon removed from Weibo, prompting netizens to continue the conversation under the new tag #WeDemandFreeSpeech (#我们要求言论自由#). That, too, disappeared, but CDT Chinese has created an archive of related posts.
More from China Digital Times
- 23 June 2020: Translation: Don’t Speak/Please Remember Them
- 8 June 2020: Minitrue: Walk Back on “Street Vendor Economy”
- 5 May 2020: CDT Censorship Digest, April 2020: Top-Down Hooliganization, from Propaganda to Diplomacy
- 15 April 2020: Internet Users Turn to Dr. Li’s “Wailing Wall” to Express Outrage over Child Rape Case