Actions for our Activists

People are different. That is a fundamental truth that keeps us accepting and expectant of what we are capable of. There are those of us who love the sky, those who love the trees, those who love the earth and even those who love the structure put in place by man. We exist together in our difference because of a delicate understanding we share about ourselves and of our need to belong in the populace. And it is this understanding that should bring us together in greater defense for one particular difference. It is in defense of those who love all people.

Lui Xiaobo is such a ‘difference’. He is one among dozens of activists who worked secretly to produce a political manifesto that could make China a liberal democracy. The document was called Chapter 08 and according to the New York Times, has received more than 300 signatures from activists both inside and outside of China. Lui is the only one imprisoned for its existence, something that his fellow activists were both saddened by and proud of. Now at the age of 61 he has been released for treatment of severely advanced liver cancer. Shocking still is that his struggle may have passed silently under the ‘know’ if it wasn’t for the efforts of Human Rights watches across the world. His Nobel Peace Prize award, received in 2010, shows the value such groups place upon his actions. And rightly so, because his is an honest story many of us share or will come to share in the future. His is a story of hope and promise for a better world in the face of an otherwise stagnating power.

Nobel Prize 2010
Lui Xiaobo’s memorable empty chair during the Nobel Prize ceremony.

While Lui Xiaobo remains a prisoner, only allowed to receive medical treatment, there is still a fear that the world may once again forget. There is fear that we may move on and forget struggles from far away or just outside our doorstep. And while we forget, those who are willing to sacrifice much for the welfare of others will be left unprotected. Their voices will be easily captured and shut back by the stagnation of our time. Because halfway across the world we didn’t pay attention.

Clearly not all problems activist raise can receive immediate solutions or actions. But without them, we will wonder who should speak up for the lost, the motherless, the homeless, the imprisoned and the innocent. Our differences make those willing to step forward perfect for the act and it demands protection from those who will undoubtedly benefit. Such men and women speak up about many things, most of which we remain unaware of while hoping our own world gets better.

Therefore let our action towards our activists help promote a better world when it is clear such is their concern. Instead of opposition or indifference let us involve ourselves in understanding the problems raised and the solutions offered. Then we will be more protective of activists, like Lui and many across the world, who are after peace and better rights for the populace.

Lui Xiabao

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