Reading through the fantastic Beyond the Green student blog the other day, I came across a great post by Jingyi Wu ’17 recounting her experience in Beijing around International Women’s Day. Some of her activist friends were detained by police in response to their organizing efforts, and she’s now working alongside a group seeking their amnesty. After touching base with her, she was excited to get the word out on a larger platform. You can find her original piece below, and links to how you can get help with her efforts. Credit is due to Jingyi for her work, and Beyond the Green for allowing us to repost. Make sure to check out the petition here and at the bottom after the jump.
This is my story. My name is Jingyi Wu.
Close to a week ago, at 2 pm, Mar. 6th 2015 Beijing time, two days before the International Women’s Day, my friend, a much-loved feminist activist, Wei Tingting was asked to go to the police station for a tea interview, and she hasn’t returned home since. In China, a saying goes “there is no free lunch.” A tea interview with the police not only means that you get free tea, you get into trouble too. Two hours later, at 4 pm, people from Ministry of State Security of the People’s Republic of China came to the home of my other friend Wang Man, and arrested her. Over the course of a day, the Chinese government arrested my three other activist friends, Li Maizi, Zheng Churan, and Wu Rongrong, in Beijing, Hangzhou, and Guangzhou, three cities that are thousands of miles apart, and transported them to a distant detention camp outside of Beijing. From one Chinese policeman, we gathered the information that the detention might be up to 30 days or more, which means that the Chinese government has to file a official charge towards them. Since then, no further information could be found.
The link between the arrests of these five women is a simple one. Through monitoring devices, the government gathered information about the actions these women from cities around China were planning for International Women’s Day, and out of an intricate need to maintain a peaceful image when National People’s Congress is in session, the government decided to stop the event. What my friends were planning was to pass out stickers on public transportation to raise awareness of sexual harassment happening in public space. On one of the stickers, it says, “Stop sexual harassment, police, go get the harassers,” but the policemen went and got the activists instead.