Honoring Dr. King, Chinese pro-democracy movement, Occupy Wall Street (with Video)

I’m Shen tong

In honoring Dr King’s legacy, I’m standing here, as a Chinese exile from Tiananmen, and as an Occupier, to pledge again my commitment to nonviolence, to civil disobedience, to social and economic justice.

Back in 1989, we were inspired by non-violent principle and carried out the largest scale civil disobedience with over 100 million direct participation in street protests.
Our struggle ended with bloodshed, and I narrowly escaped the Tiananmen Massacre.  But we have continued our struggle non-violently.
I want to honor Dr. King’s legacy today by honoring my colleagues in that struggle
Ai Weiwei – the outspoken dissident artist
Liu Xiaobo – the Nobel Peace laureate of 2010 who is still in jial along w  hundreds of thousands of dissidents.

While in exile, here in America – the land of the free, I’ve learnt the precious but fragile nature of democracy. Democracy has journeyed from,
1 propertied white man 1 vote,
to 1 white man 1 vote
to 1 white person 1 vote
and with Civil Rights movement comes 1 person, 1 vote.
Now we are trending to $1m, 1 vote.

How do we revive our democracy?
I say: Step up and occupy
I say: non violent civil disobedience.

22 years ago today, I had the special privilege soon after my exile to speak the following words in the Church Dr. King once worked:

… the principle of non-violence…is the only way for China and for the world if we are to survive.  Our various communities struggle to achieve justice and equality, freedom and human right.  We must join our hands and stand as one.  As Dr. King once said, “ Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.  Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.”

We must learn from each other to find that crystal way which will lead to the crystal goal.  And together, as one movement, we will be able to look at the tyrants and oppressors of history and repeat Dr. King’s words, “ We have matched your capacity to inflict suffering with our capacity to endure suffering.  We have matched your physical force with soul force.  WE ARE FREE.

2 Responses to Honoring Dr. King, Chinese pro-democracy movement, Occupy Wall Street (with Video)

  1. Defenseless under the night
    Our world in stupor lies;
    Yet, dotted everywhere,
    Ironic points of light
    Flash out wherever the Just
    Exchange their messages:
    May I, composed like them
    Of Eros and of dust,
    Beleaguered by the same
    Negation and despair,
    Show an affirming flame.

    SEPTEMBER 1, 1939
    by W.H. Auden

  2. b says:

    FYI, the 15th Amendment guaranteed a citizen’s right to vote regardless of “”race, color, or previous condition of servitude” in 1870. American women won the right to vote in 1920. While it is undoubtedly true that throughout the south especially many blacks were denied access to the polls through poll taxes, violence, coercion and other measures made illegal by the Voting Rights Act, it remains the case that free black men had the right to vote under the constitution half a century before white women did.

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