The Daily Scribe

Thought Provoking Issues!

Our Voices Won’t Be Silenced . . .

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In what would appear to be bitter irony—children are lined up, each holding a floral arrangement.

Not to honor the students that died when schools collapsed during the earthquake on May 12, but to mark the reconstruction efforts in Dujiangyan, southwestern China’s Sichuan province.

Chinese officials, in an effort to restore life to normalcy, are using intimidation tactics to dissuade grieving parents from protesting about the conditions that led to this deplorable state of affairs.

As the children await the ceremony to begin, one can’t help but notice the government omnipotent presence as soldiers stand slightly behind them.

China wants to focus the world’s attention on its rebuilding efforts and not on grieving parents lodging their complaints about shoddy school construction.

In an effort to propagate the perception that life is returning to normal, a photograph of a hand clutching a twisted piece of steel rebar no thicker than a No. 2 pencil was removed from an exhibit chronicling last month’s devastating earthquake.

“We don’t know if we were told to remove the photo,” said Wu Zhiwei, an assistant to the general manager of the Museum Cluster Jianchuan, which had organized the exhibit and is the largest privately run museum in China. “And if we were told to remove the photo,” he concluded. “We’re not sure we could tell you.”

At the center of the controversy is Juyuan, where grieving parents were pulled away by police from a courthouse as they knelt in protest earlier this month while attempting to submit a lawsuit. bbooth.wordpress.com/2008/06/05/when-there-is-no-hope/

On Sunday, police cordoned off the area surrounding the collapsed middle school where over 300 students died. Outrage parents complained that they had a right to observe the 35th day of mourning, a key date according to local tradition.

“It’s as if we’re bad people now,” said a man, who claimed he was the father of a dead student. “This is our last chance to burn incense and they don’t let us in,” the man continued, reluctant to give his name.

Ignoring the dangers of being rounded up, threatened, and detained——dissenting parents are refusing to remain quiet. Although the entire state-controlled media wants to shift the focus from the missing photo, grieving parents, impeding lawsuits, the fact is these issues are not going to go away.

So as Chinese officials use these kid’s as pawns to further their propaganda, it is perhaps ironic that life is returning to normal . . . since shoddy school construction and the aforementioned ceremony only exemplifies, the lack of concern the government has for its children.

Bradley Booth/Freelance Commercial Writer/Author

 

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