【 民主中国首发 】  时间: 10/21/2017              

蔡楚:我所知道的刘晓波(中英文版)

作者: 蔡楚

(民主转型与十字方针征文)

 
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 独立笔会第二届 (2004) 自由写作奖颁奖会照片:刘晓波先生讲话

 


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晓波与我相识于网络,正如他在200874于北京家中给我的诗集《别梦成灰》所写的序言——刘晓波:长达半个世纪的诗意序《蔡楚诗选》中所说:“这本诗选中的最后一首诗《飘飞的心跳——给笔会网络会议》,写于2007105。这让我想起与蔡楚相识,如果没有笔会,我们大概至今无缘。从笔会建立到今天,磕磕绊绊也将近七个年头,这些年与蔡楚相交,完全是通过网络,至今,我们还无缘见面。”

 

独立笔会于20017月成立,同年10月在伦敦举行的国际笔会第67屆代表大会上被高票接纳入会。晓波与我都是独立笔会的31位创办人之一,难能可贵的是他身居中国大陆,却不怕中共的多次打压,挺身而出为张扬自由精神,维护全球作家的写作生命和精神自由,捍卫他们的写作出版权利,保证其作品的自由传播发出声音。2002年我在笔会做义工,担任网站编辑。晓波与我有一次合作,他希望我们在美国为独立笔会注册成非赢利组织做努力。直到2004年,为笔会做义工的李洁和Jennifer终于把晓波的心愿完成。

 

200328,他对我起草的《独立笔会笔友给笔会主席刘宾雁先生的慰问信》提出修改意见,他认为慰问信的结尾有些矫情,要我把引用雪莱的诗句删除,我听他的意见后,他参加了签名,参与签名的共有四名会员:刘晓波、蔡楚、茉莉、傅正明。

 

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20038月,我在MSN上创办独立笔会社区,开始讨论并通过了独立笔会章程,召开了第一届会员大会,选举并产生了理事会,而且通过了一系列规章制度,为笔会在美国注册为非赢利组织奠定了基础,很快就得到美国民主基金会的支持。200310月,晓波当选为会长,我和万之当选为副会长。晓波两任会长至200710月。晓波在担任会长期间,于20041030200612,两次在北京组织召开笔会自由写作奖颁奖会,第二次同时颁布了林昭纪念奖。而且,笔会还于2005423下午,在成都召开讨论会:向刘宾雁先生和所有海外流亡人士致敬。当时,国内的北京、成都、南京、贵阳等地笔会成员,都用读书活动的名义宣扬宪政、人权和揭示中共的谎言。这些活动振动了北京当局。因此,晓波不但被监控,而且,多次被北京警察传唤、抓走。

 

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独立作家笔会副会长谈刘晓波余杰被抓(图)

http://blog.boxun.com/hero/caichu/142_1.shtml

 

还值得提起,晓波于2005919白天接到会员杨春光的妻子小蔡,从辽宁省盘锦市打来的电话,说杨春光因突发脑溢血,于凌晨三点逝世。因我主持杨春光的文集,对杨春光比较了解,晓波上网与我商量怎么办。我建议笔会应发布悼念杨春光先生病逝公告。没有想到,晓波当天就乘火车去盘锦市杨春光家。由于不熟悉道路,晓波直到深夜才找到杨春光家。晓波对杨春光遗体告别并慰问其家属后,小蔡表示经济困难,晓波立即从自己的皮包里拿出一笔钱,送给小蔡后才匆匆离开。后来,我从美国打电话给小蔡,她告诉我,晓波私人送了她一千元。而晓波从不提起此事,这件事显示了晓波为人的真诚和大气。

 

200610月,由于苏晓康先生从他主编的民主中国退休。刘晓波、张祖桦和我在美国阿拉巴马州注册了民主中国网刊,致力于为民主派在未来参与民主转型过程,包括谈判和制宪,提供必要的知识、理论和人才储备,以期积累公民力量,推倒专制铁墙,将中国建成一个自由、民主、宪政的国家。并进行国家制度的建设和巩固工作。

 

当民主中国网刊成功申请到美国非盈利组织账户时,又是美国民主基金会给予了及时的支持。

 

当时,刘晓波先生担任民主中国网刊总裁兼主编,我担任执行主任兼编辑,张祖桦先生担任理事兼编辑。《民主中国》网刊作为海内外唯一的一份专门研究与探讨中国民主转型的期刊,自创刊以来一直坚持“自由、民主、人权、法治、宪政”10字办刊宗旨,致力于从各个方面深入探讨如何推进和实现中国民主转型,培育公民社会,促进法治建设,研讨民主理论,关注时局变化,总结民主实践和公民维权运动方面的经验,努力为促进中国的民主转型做出理论和经验方面的贡献。

 

 

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民主中国网刊:http://minzhuzhongguo.org/

 

当时,我们在skype上建立了群聊组,以便召开理事会和讨论编务。晓波负责民主中国网刊的规划和对外联系工作,张祖桦先生负责初审稿件和撰写工作总结,我负责终审稿件和上传稿件,以及发稿费、联系作者等日常事务。李洁从建立民主中国网刊起,就一直担任本刊的义工,长期帮助我们做各项工作,包括为本刊申请非赢利组织、翻译文件等。

 

晓波在日常事务中,几乎天天与我联系。从确定全年征文题目,到修改版面栏目,再到联系作者和调整发稿篇目等,事无巨细他都承担。尤其是因为时差,他为了在美国的白天与我联系,主动把工作时间调整到深夜,使我能在白天工作夜晚休息,他这种先人后己的精神使我深为感动。当时,为不影响晓波和张祖桦以及国内作者的安全,我们决定本刊刊头上不使用他俩的名字,而用“何路”(路在何方)来做他俩的共同笔名,后来,《零八宪章》中也提出:“21世纪的中国将走向何方,是继续这种威权统治下的"现代化",还是认同普世价值、融入主流文明、建立民主政体?这是一个不容回避的抉择。”晓波还提出,本刊编辑部成员一律不能在本刊撰文挣稿费,得到理事会批准,至今这条规定仍被编辑部成员严格遵守。晓波被判刑后,民主中国网刊还开展对国内良心犯及其家属的人道援助活动,张祖桦在国内,常常推荐一些弱势群体成员接受援助。

 

晓波是位性情中人,他的文章虽然冷峻地表达了自己的自由观,但作为一个人,他仍然有血性、有情感、有审美、有忠贞不渝的爱。他的性情表现在他的诗作中。晓波的诗提醒人们直面六四,刘晓波诗歌节选: 十五年前/大屠杀/在一个黎明前完成/我死去/并再生 …… 十五年前/我的每个噩梦中都有亡灵/我看到/一切都带着血污/我写下的/每一句/每一笔/都是后来/与坟墓的倾诉 ……他在《承担-给苦难中的妻子》里写道:进入坟墓前/别忘了用骨灰给我写信/别忘了留下阴间的地址。

 

晓波首先是作家、诗人和文学评论家,他是被当局压迫而成时政评论家的,这是他反抗的方式——用笔对抗枪。2008年六四当天,他曾亲口在SKYPE上告诉我,他感到对不起六四亡灵,若六四问题得到解决,他就会移民美国。当时,他的抽泣声被多位在我家的朋友听到,纷纷被这位不忘六四亡灵的人所感动。后来,他获诺贝尔和平奖的消息传来后,我为他惋惜,感到他终身渴望自由的愿望可能不会实现。有诗为证! 蔡楚:致刘晓波/秋雨中得知你获奖我泪如雨下/仿佛又听到我们熟悉的大磕巴—— /每年六四,skype上你说对不起亡灵/断续的哭泣象这秋雨绵延着牵挂/有人说你软若雨水不够刚烈/有人说你水滴石穿已经幻化/我说不要捧你上祭坛/刘霞喊你回家/201010月。

 

20081210,刘晓波、张祖桦和国内303名各界人士联合发布《零八宪章》,得到国内外大批人士联署签名,至今已三十五批,共一万四千余人。《零八宪章》指出:“在经历了长期的人权灾难和艰难曲折的抗争历程之后,觉醒的中国公民日渐清楚地认识到,自由、平等、人权是人类共同的普世价值;民主、共和、宪政是现代政治的基本制度架构。抽离了这些普世价值和基本政制架构的"现代化",是剥夺人的权利、腐蚀人性、摧毁人的尊严的灾难过程。21世纪的中国将走向何方,是继续这种威权统治下的"现代化",还是认同普世价值、融入主流文明、建立民主政体?这是一个不容回避的抉择。” “为此,我们本着勇于践行的公民精神,公布《零八宪章》。我们希望所有具有同样危机感、责任感和使命感的中国公民,不分朝野,不论身份,求同存异,积极参与到公民运动中来,共同推动中国社会的伟大变革,以期早日建成一个自由、民主、宪政的国家,实现国人百余年来锲而不舍的追求与梦想。”

 

梳理中国的民主运动史,最大规模和最有影响力的有八九民运和《零八宪章》宪政运动,《零八宪章》把民主运动的诉求,定格在“抗争历程,公民运动”和“建成一个自由、民主、宪政的国家”上。《零八宪章》宪政运动不是过去式,而是现在进行式,自由宪政未实现和完善前,《零八宪章》宪政运动不会停止。

 

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《晓波致意:下周稿子,收到回音!》图片

 

公布《零八宪章》前,2008126日上午1016,晓波从信箱给我发来:《晓波致意:下周稿子,收到回音!》。晚上,他从skype上给我发来了《中国各界人士联合发布《零八宪章》》第一批300人签署版本,要我在1210世界人权日时公布。第二天晚上,他还在skype上与我视频聊天,由于他不能出国,所以他希望与我在国内见面。天真的晓波没有料到第二天他就会被北京国保抓走。当天夜里,张祖桦也被抄家并带走,好在祖桦已把《中国各界人士联合发布《零八宪章》》第一批303人签署定稿版本交给海外组织发布,才没有耽误《零八宪章》提前一天公布。至今,民主中国网刊上保留了《零八宪章》公布后的全部签名资料,《零八宪章论坛》也同时刊登这些资料,而且,还有《零八宪章信息网》的链接,三个网站成为《零八宪章》讨论、修订的平台。

 

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晓波最喜欢刘霞给他拍摄的照片

 

200811月,晓波给我发来一批图片,他说最喜欢刘霞在丁子霖老师家给他拍摄的一张照片,背景是刘霞的摄影《布袋娃娃》。晓波被监禁后,我一直坚持报道信息,而且,每年都去各地参与声援和救助国内良心犯的会议。

 

仅举五例:刘晓波博士被北京警方刑事拘留(http://blog.boxun.com/hero/200812/caichu/1_1.shtml

 

丁子霖 蒋培坤:呼吁各方,营救刘晓波http://blog.boxun.com/hero/200906/caichu/2_1.shtml

 

强烈谴责北京警方非法限制刘霞的人身自由 呼吁公众关注刘霞的处境http://blog.boxun.com/hero/200906/caichu/3_1.shtml

 

零八宪章一周年,刘晓波面临重判http://blog.boxun.com/hero/201001/caichu/1_1.shtml

 

刘晓波:我的自辩和最后陈述http://blog.boxun.com/hero/201001/caichu/6_1.shtml

 

我与晓波的家属也一直保持联系。刘霞的电话很难打通,有时拨打几次也不行。今年四月下旬,我与刘霞通电话,我问她晓波的身体如何?她告诉我晓波的身体比她好。但她又说,当局给晓波检查了身体,就是不告诉晓波和她检查的结果。因此,她还是不放心。我请她探监时代我问晓波的身体如何,她说隔着窗,还有警察监视,根本不能提他人的名字,否则就会被取消探视。可是,从现在的媒体报道看,当局已经在4月就知道晓波身体的真实情况,却没有公布,而是一直拖延。这种政治拖延,就是慢性谋杀刘晓波。

 

今年6月,中国当局披露晓波已患肝癌晚期,75日夜又见晓波夫妻照片,并闻晓波病危,我不禁老泪纵横。悲愤中,蔡楚写道:形销骨立的夫妻用骨灰来书写爱情:

 

今夜清光此處多,

阴晴圆缺未消磨。

蜡炬有心还惜别,

千條香烛照星河。

 

多年来,晓波一直坚持宁可坐穿牢底也不出国,这次他却对前来会诊的德国和美国医生表示,愿意到西方治病,死也要死在西方,并且要让刘霞和其弟刘晖陪同他出国。刘晓波早已将生命献给了六四亡灵,实现了他的灵魂救赎。此时,却用他最后的一口气为刘霞争取自由。这样的爱情真是“人间难得几回闻”。

 

刘晓波一生做了三件大事:六四声援学生成为黑手;创建和发展独立笔会;巩固和发展民主中国网刊,用以身殉道的方式来弘扬《零八宪章》。

 

生做自由人,死成自由魂;爱为情所动,情由性灵生。这是晓波毕生的追求。

 

2017711初稿

 

2017712定稿

 

Cai Chu:  The Liu Xiaobo I Knew

 

Translated by Andrea Worden

 

Xiaobo and I met online. In the forward he wrote at his home in Beijing on July 4, 2008, “Spanning Half a Century – Forward for the Selected Poems of Cai Chu,” for my collection of poetry Wherever there is freedom, that is my home, Liu Xiaobo wrote: “The last poem in Cai Chu’s collection, ‘Fluttering heart –for the Independent Chinese Pen Center (ICPC) Online Conference’, written on October 5, 2007, led me to recall my friend-ship with Cai Chu. Without the ICPC, we probably would not have had a chance to become friends.   From the time ICPC was established, through some bumpy times over almost seven years of ICPC’s history, all these years, all of my interactions with Cai Chu have been on the Internet. To this day, we still have not had the opportunity to meet in person.”

 

The Independent Chinese Pen Center (ICPC) was established in July of 2001.  In October of that same year, at the 67th World Congress of PEN International, ICPC was voted into PEN International with the majority of votes. Xiaobo and I were two of the 31 founding members of ICPC. It was remarkable that he lived in mainland China, but was not afraid of the CCP’s multiple crackdowns, he stepped forward bravely to spread the spirit of freedom, and protect writers’ right to write and the spiritual freedom of writers around the globe. I volunteered at ICPC in 2002 as editor of the website. Xiaobo and I worked together.  He wanted us to register ICPC as a non-profit in the U.S.  In 2004, ICPC volunteers Li Jie and Jennifer Salen were able to fulfill his wish. 

 

On February 8, 2003, Liu Xiaobo suggested some revisions to the letter I had drafted, titled “Greetings from ICPC Writer Friends’ to ICPC Chair Mr. Liu Binyan for His Speedy Recovery.” He thought that the ending of the letter was a little affected and unnatural, and wanted me to delete the verse of Shelley’s poetry I had included. After I made the change, Liu Xiaobo added his signature to the letter.  Altogether there were four ICPC members who signed: Liu Xiaobo, Cai Chu, Mo Li, Fu Zhengming.

 

 20171020liuxiaobo(4).jpg (575×343)
 

Greetings from ICPC Writer Friends’ to ICPC Chair Mr. Liu Binyan for His Speedy Recovery

liuxia@public.bta.net.cn 

Reply

2003/2/9 12:21

 

Hello both! Please sign my name to the letter. If you have Binyan’s telephone number, please give it to me. Moreover, the verse from Shelley at the end of the letter, I feel that it’s placement here is a little affected. This is just my own personal opinion; if everyone is okay with it, I won’t insist!

Liu Xiaobo

 

***

Dear Writer Friends: Hello!

I was shocked to learn that Mr. Liu Binyan is suffering from rectal cancer. I’ve drafted a letter for his speedy recovery, please would each of you edit the letter and email me back your edited version as soon as possible, so after I compile the edits I can mail the letter to Mr. Liu Binyan. In addition, please pass this on to others, and as to those writer friends who are willing to sign, please let me know. Thank you!

 

Happy New Year! 

Cai Chu

03-02-08

_________  

In August 2003, I started an ICPC group on MSN, and we began to discuss, and then subsequently passed the charter of ICPC. We also held the first congress of the ICPC Membership Assembly, elected and established a Board of Directors, and adopted the by-laws which lay the foundation for ICPC to become registered as a non-profit organization in the U.S., and then soon obtained the support of the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy (NED). In October 2003, Xiaobo was elected president of ICPC, Wan Zhi and myself were elected vice presidents.  Xiaobo served two terms as president, until October 2007.  During the period when Xiaobo was president, the ICPC Freedom to Write Award Ceremony was held twice in Beijing ––first on October 30, 2004 and then again on January 2, 2006.  During the second event in 2006, ICPC also presented the inaugural Lin Zhao Memorial Award.  Moreover, ICPC held a symposium in Chengdu on the afternoon of April 23, 2005, to pay tribute to Mr. Liu Binyan and all those who were in exile over-seas. At that time, ICPC members in Beijing, Chengdu, Nanjing, Guiyang and elsewhere in China, under the guise of “Book Reading Groups,” promoted constitutionalism, human rights and revealed the lies of the Chinese Communist Party. These activities caused serious concern among the Beijing authorities. Consequently, the Beijing police not only monitored Xiaobo, but also summoned him and took him into custody many times.

 

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The Second Assembly of ICPC (2004) to Issue the Freedom to Write Award: Mr. Liu Xiaobo delivering remarks  

 

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ICPC Vice President Discusses the Detention of Liu Xiaobo and Yu Jie http://blog.boxun.com/hero/caichu/142_1.shtml

 

Also worth mentioning is on September 19, 2005, Xiaobo received a phone call from the wife of ICPC member Yang Chunguang. His wife, Ms. Cai, called from Panjin City, Liaoning Province, and said Yang Chunguang had suffered a sudden cerebral hemorrhage and died at three o’clock that morning. Because I was responsible for the collect-ed works of Yang Chunguang, I knew about him.   Xiaobo and I discussed on Skype what we should do.  I suggested that ICPC should announce his death and commemorate Mr. Yang Chunguang. It never occurred to me that on that same day Xiaobo would take the train to Panjin City to visit Yang Chunguang’s family. Because Xiaobo was not familiar with the area, it was very late at night before Xiaobo finally located Yang Chunguang’s home. After Xiaobo bid farewell to Yang Chunguang’s body and offered condolences to his family, Ms. Cai mentioned that they had some financial difficulties. Xiaobo immediately took some money from his pocket and gave it to Ms. Cai, and then quickly left.  Later, I called Ms. Cai from the U.S. and she told me that Xiaobo privately gave her 1,000 RMB.  And Xiaobo never mentioned this to anyone, which illustrates the sincerity and generosity with which he treated others. 

 

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民主中国网刊:http://minzhuzhongguo.org/

 

In October 2006, Mr. Su Xiaokang retired as editor-in-chief of Democratic China. Liu Xiaobo, Zhang Zuhua and I registered Democratic China as a non-profit organization to continue the Democratic China Electronic Journal in Alabama, U.S. The journal is devoted to the democratic forces who will participate in the future process of democratic transition in China. This includes negotiations and drawing up a constitution - to provide them with necessary knowledge, theory and talent reserves–– with a view to accumulating citizen power, and toppling the autocratic iron wall, so that in the future China will become a free and democratic country with a constitutional government. At that time, Liu Xiaobo served as president and editor-in-chief of Democratic China Electronic Journal; I served as executive director and editor, and Mr. Zhang Zuhua served as a China managing director and editor.  Democratic China Electronic Journal is the only periodical in China or abroad that exclusively researches and explores China's democratic transition.  Since the journal’s inception, it has adhered to the founding purpose of the journal which is captured in 10 characters: "Freedom, Democracy, Human Rights, Rule of Law, [and] Constitutionalism," and has devoted itself to the in-depth exploration of how to advance and realize China’s democratic transition, foster civil society, and promote the establishment of rule of law. In addition, it serves as a platform for the study and discussion of democratic theory, focuses on changes in the current political situation, sums up democratic practice and the experience of the citizens’ rights defense movement, all with the purpose of making theoretical and experiential contributions to promote China's democratic transition.

At that time, we set up a chat group on Skype, in order to convene the Board of Directors and discuss editorial matters. Xiaobo was responsible for planning and external outreach; Zhang Zuhua was responsible for the initial review of manuscripts and for composing work summaries.  I was responsible for finalizing and uploading manuscripts, as well as issuing payments for articles, contacting the writers, and other daily affairs. From the time Democratic China Electronic Journal was first established, Li Jie has al-ways served as a volunteer for the journal, providing long-term assistance on many different matters, including the application for the journal to be registered as a non-profit organization, and translate documents, among other tasks.

 

In the course of handling daily matters, Xiaobo contacted me almost daily. From deciding which topics to solicit articles on for the year, to modifying the layout of columns, to contacting authors and adjusting the table of contents–– no matter how small the task, he took responsibility.  One thing especially worth mentioning is that because of the time difference, in order to communicate with me during the daytime in the U.S., he pro-actively adjusted his working hours to the middle of the night so that I was able to work during the day, and sleep at night.  His spirit of putting others before himself moved me deeply.

 

From the inception of the new Democratic China Electronic Journal, in order not to jeopardize the safety of Xiaobo, Zhang Zuhua and other mainland authors, we decided not to use Xiaobo and Zhang Zuhua’s names on the masthead of the journal, and in-stead used “He Lu” (i.e., Where is China headed?) as a penname for them. Later, Charter 08 stated: "Where is China headed in the 21st century? Will it continue with “modernization" under authoritarian rule, or will it embrace universal human values, join the main-stream of civilized nations, and build a democratic system? There can be no avoiding these questions.”  [Editor’s Note:  This and other quotations from Charter 08 are taken from Perry Link’s translation, which first appeared in the New York Review of Books, vol. 56, no.1, January 15, 2009.]  

 

Xiaobo also suggested that members of the editorial team of Democratic China, without exception, should not receive payment for articles they publish in the journal. The Board of Directors approved this decision, and to this day, members of the editorial team still strictly observe this rule.  After Xiaobo was sentenced, the Democratic China Electronic Journal also launched humanitarian assistance activities for mainland prisoners of conscience and their families.  Zhang Zuhua often recommended some members of vulnerable and marginalized groups to receive assistance.

 

Xiaobo acted authentically, according to his own nature: generous, frank, and emotional. Although his essays coldly expressed his views on freedom, as a person, he was courageous, with deep feelings and aesthetic sense, and was constant, loyal and loving.  His disposition manifested itself in his poetry.  Xiaobo's poetry reminds people to squarely face June 4.  An excerpt from one of Liu Xiabo’s poems reads:

“Fifteen years ago / Massacre / Completed before a dawn / I died / And was re-born . . . . Fifteen years ago / Every nightmare I have contains the spirits of the dead / I see / Everything is blood-stained/ The things I write/ Every sentence / Every pen / Are subsequent / Talks with the graves....”

 

He wrote in the poem What One Can Bear: For My Suffering Wife: “Before you go to your grave / Do not forget to write me a letter/ with your ashes / Do not for-get to leave your address in the netherworld.”

 

Xiaobo first was a writer, poet and literary critic. He was compelled by the suppression he suffered at the hands of the Chinese regime to become a political commentator; this was his method of resistance–– to use his pen against the gun.  On June 4, 2008, he told me on Skype that he felt he had let down the dead spirits of June 4.  If the June 4 issue were resolved, he would emigrate to the United States. At that time, many friends who were gathered at my home heard his sobbing, and they were all moved by the man who could not forget the dead souls of June 4.  Later, upon receiving the news of his No-bel Peace Prize award, I felt very sorry for him, and felt that the desire he had his entire life, his thirst for freedom, would likely not be realized. I have a poem as proof!

For Liu Xiaobo by Cai Chu/ I heard the news of your award in the autumn rain, and my tears flowed like rain/ Like hearing once again the big stutter we were accustomed to––/ Every June 4, you say on Skype that you apologize to the dead souls of June 4/ Crying intermittently like this autumn rain stretching out our concern/ Some people say you are soft like rain and not strong enough / Some people say that your persistent efforts have already transformed/ I said not to raise you up on an altar/ Liu Xia is calling you home / October 2010.

      

On December 10, 2008, Liu Xiaobo, Zhang Zuhua and 303 people from all walks of life in mainland China jointly issued Charter 08.  Subsequently, many signatures from people in China and abroad were added; to date, there are 35 groups of signatories, totaling more than 14,000 people.  Charter 08 states: “The Chinese people, who have endured human rights disasters and uncountable struggles [over a long period of time], now include many who see clearly that freedom, equality, and human rights are universal values of humankind and that democracy and constitutional government are the fundamental framework for protecting these values. By departing from these values, the Chinese government’s approach to “modernization” has proven disastrous. It has stripped people of their rights, destroyed their dignity, and corrupted normal human intercourse. So we ask: Where is China headed in the 21st century? Will it continue with “modernization" under authoritarian rule, or will it embrace universal human values, join the main-stream of civilized nations, and build a democratic system? There can be no avoiding these questions . . . . . Accordingly, we dare to put civic spirit into practice by announcing Charter 08. We hope that our fellow citizens who feel a similar sense of crisis, responsibility, and mission, whether they are inside the government or not, and regardless of their social status, will set aside small differences to embrace the broad goals of this citizens’ movement. Together we can work for major changes in Chinese society and for the rapid establishment of a free, democratic, and constitutional country. We can bring to reality the goals and ideals that our people have incessantly been seeking for more than a hundred years, and can bring a brilliant new chapter to Chinese civilization.”

 [Perry Link’s translation]

 

Combing through the history of China's democracy movements, those of the largest scale and greatest impact include 1989 Democracy Movement and the Charter 08 Constitutionalism movement.  Charter 08 positions the demands of the democracy movement onto the foundation of a “resistance struggle, citizens’ movement” and “building a country that is free and democratic, with a constitutional government.”  The Charter 08 Constitutionalism movement is not past tense, but is progressive present tense.  The Charter 08 movement will not cease until a free, constitutional government has been realized and perfected.


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《晓波致意:下周稿子,收到回音!》图片

“Greetings from Xiaobo: next week’s manuscript, reply upon receipt!” (Photo)

 

Reply

Saturday 2008/12/6, 10:16

Downloaded, saved to OneDrive – Personal

 

Before Charter 08 was made public, on December 6, 2008 at 10:16 am, Xiaobo sent the document to me via email: “Greetings from Xiaobo: next week’s manuscript, reply upon receipt!” That evening, via Skype, he sent me the first batch of names of 300 people who signed Charter 08, and wanted me to publish it on December 10, World Human Rights Day. The next night, he also chatted with me via video on Skype; because he could not go abroad, he wanted to meet me in the mainland.  Innocent Xiaobo did not foresee that the next day he would be taken into custody by Beijing public security officers (guobao). That night, Zhang Zuhua was also taken away and his home searched. Fortunately, Zuhua had already sent the final version of “Chinese Individuals From All Walks of Life Jointly Issue Charter 08” with the first batch of 303 signatories, to an overseas organization for release, so there was no delay in publishing Charter 08 one day ahead of schedule. To this day, the Democratic China Electronic Journal website retains signature information for all who signed Charter 08 after it was first published.  The “Charter 08 Forum” also publishes this information, and there is also a link to the “Charter 08 Information Network” on the Democratic China website –– these three websites have become the platform for discussing and revising Charter 08.

 

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晓波最喜欢刘霞给他拍摄的照片

Of the photographs that Liu Xia took of Xiaobo, this one was his favorite 

 

In November 2008, Xiaobo sent me some photographs; he said his favorite photo that Liu Xia took of him was one taken in Ding Zilin’s home, which had as a background, Liu Xia’s photograph “Cloth Dolls.” After Xiaobo was imprisoned, I continued to report information and news, and every year, I traveled around to participate in meetings to express support for, and help prisoners of conscience in the mainland.  The following are five examples:

Dr. Liu Xiaobo Criminally Detained by Beijing Police (Photo) http://blog.boxun.com/hero/200812/caichu/1_1.shtml

Ding Zilin, Jiang Peikun: Calling on all Quarters to Rescue Liu Xiaobo http://blog.boxun.com/hero/200906/caichu/2_1.shtml

Strongly Condemn Beijing Police for Illegally Restricting the Personal Liberty of Liu Xiaand Calling On the Public to Pay Attention to Liu Xia’s Situation http://blog.boxun.com/hero/200906/caichu/3_1.shtml

On the First Anniversary of Charter 08, Liu Xiaobo Faces Serious Punishmenthttp://blog.boxun.com/hero/201001/caichu/1_1.shtml

Liu Xiaobo:  My self-defense and final statement http://blog.boxun.com/hero/201001/caichu/6_1.shtml

 

I have maintained contact with Liu Xia. But Liu Xia's phone is difficult to get through to, sometimes even if I dialed her number several times, it still wouldn’t work. In late April of this year, I managed to speak with Liu Xia, and asked her the status of Xiaobo’s health. She told me his health was better than hers. She also said, however, that the authorities gave Xiaobo a physical examination, but afterwards did not tell Xiaobo and her the results. Consequently, she was still worried. I asked her to convey my good wishes to him when she visited him in prison. She said that with a window separating them, and police surveillance, there was no way she could mention the names of other people. If she did there would be no more visits. However, according to recent media reports, the authorities already knew the status of Xiaobo’s actual health condition in April, but did not disclose it, and instead delayed. This political delay was the slow murder of Liu Xiaobo.

 

In June of this year, Chinese authorities disclosed that Xiaobo already had late-stage liver cancer. On the night of July 5, I again saw a photo of Liu Xiaobo and his wife, and heard that Xiaobo was critically ill; I could not help but let the tears flow freely from my aged eyes. Amid grief and indignation, I wrote: the husband and wife who are mere skin and bones use the ashes of the dead to express their love:

Tonight there is brighter light in this place,
The clear moon, less than full, not yet worn away.
The candles are shedding tears when departing.
Thousands of joss sticks and candles light up the galaxy.

 
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Over the years, Xiaobo had always insisted that he would rather sit in prison for the rest of his life than go abroad. But this time, he told the doctors from Germany and the U.S. who had come to China to consult about his case that he was willing to go to the West for medical treatment, and that if was going to die, he would prefer to die in the West. He also wanted Liu Xia and her younger brother, Liu Hui, to accompany him abroad. Liu Xiaobo long ago gave his life to the souls of June 4, and thereby achieved redemption for his own soul. This time, he used his last breath to fight for freedom for Liu Xia. This kind of love truly is “rare to hear of in the world of mortals.”

Liu Xiaobo did three big things in his life: he became a “black hand” for supporting the students on June 4; he founded ICPC and strengthened Democratic China Electronic Journal; and he used his own imprisonment to promote Charter 08.  He wanted to live as a free man, and die as a free soul:  his love was moved by passion, passion from his soul. This was Xiaobo’s lifelong pursuit.

July 11, 2017 First draft
July 12, 2017 Final
Originally published in Democratic China

 

 

关键字: 蔡楚 刘晓波
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