Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Tiananmen Affair

Chai Ling's confession of foreign involvement in an interview has been removed from Youtube!

Chai Ling suew maker of this video, Gate Of Heavenly Peace, and it has been removed!
The lawsuit against Long Bow makes no mention of this interview.

Since its release in 1995 the film has drawn the anger of both the Chinese authorities and several student leaders and has become a significant source of material on the movement.

However, the makers now fear that the aim of Ms Chai is to put Long Bow, a non-profit organisation, out of business by bankrupting them through legal costs.

Their appeal says: “We believe that in commemorating the events of 1989 20 years on, it is important to reflect also on the value of independent thought, unfettered historical research, the collection and protection of archival materials and the freedom of speech in our own environment.”

Folks, this video of a confession by Chai Ling, one of those "students" who falsly claimed there was a massacre in Tiananmen, and which was translated into English, has been removed from Youtube! In fact, this tiny piece, whas Chai Ling in her very own voice, explaining why she left before the massacre, because as she said her handlers in Hong Kong had encouraged Her, and the students to stay in the Sq after the students had voted to end the protests and return to there respective colleges, and suffer bloodshed at the hands of the Chinese, was the only way to get thge world's attention.

Folks, you really gotta T H I N K about this.

No one was shot, killed, or run over by a tank in Tiananmen in June 1989. That is a proven fact, and Spanish TV as well as the Chinese Government have video to prove it.

From Wikipedia...
The Gate of Heavenly Peace documentary contains footage, dated May 28, 1989, in which Chai says to American journalist Philip Cunningham:

"The students kept asking, 'What should we do next? What can we accomplish?' I feel so sad, because how can I tell them that what we are actually hoping for is bloodshed, for the moment when the government has no choice but to brazenly butcher us. Only when the Square is awash with blood will the people of China open their eyes. Only then will they really be united. But how can I explain this to my fellow students? And what is truly sad is that some students, and famous well-connected people, are working hard to help the government, to prevent it from taking such measures. For the sake of their selfish interests and their private dealings they are trying to cause our movement to collapse and get us out of the Square before the government becomes so desperate that it takes action." This gave rise to the public perception that the student leaders were making use of the students' lives and well-being to further their personal careers and financial interests.[1]

Chai claims that she was misquoted in that documentary.[20] In a letter in her defense submitted to the creators of The Gate of Heavenly Peace, a group of students also involved in the 1989 protests in Beijing say that filmmakers and other critics used "selective quotes and interpretive and erroneous translation" in their portrayal of Ling, and that she and the other student leaders remained united right up until the end of the protest when they fled the Square in the last hour.[21]

Chai and her firm have launched multiple lawsuits against the non-profit organization that created this film. An initial suit, in which Chai alleged defamation, has been dismissed. An additional ongoing suit claims that the organization infringed upon Jenzabar's copyright by mentioning the firm's name on its website. The filmmakers believe that the firm's intention is to bankrupt them through legal costs, irrespective of the merits of the cases.[22] Columnists for the Boston Globe and the New Yorker have argued that this represents a surprisingly undemocratic action by a leader of China's 1989 protests.[23][24] Chai claimed to have offered to drop the suit in June 2010.[25] However, the Boston Globe, in reporting the decision granting summary judgment dismissing the trademark suit, deemed the claim not credible. [26]

Last week, Ling Chai — a key leader in China’s 1989 prodemocracy movement — was in Oslo to see this year’s Nobel Peace Prize awarded to imprisoned Chinese dissident and free-speech advocate Liu Xiaobo. While she was in Norway, a Superior Court judge put a stop to Chai’s protracted assault on free speech here in Massachusetts.

With her husband, Chai now runs a Boston software company called Jenzabar Inc. And for three years, she has been trying to use the courts to go after two local filmmakers because she doesn’t like some material cited on their website.

The dispute between Chai and the filmmakers goes back to 1995, when Chai objected to the way she was characterized in their documentary about the Tiananmen Square crackdown of 1989. The film, “The Gate of Heavenly Peace,’’ contains an interview with a very young, exhausted Chai near the end of the standoff, in which, according to the translation, she says student leaders “are actually hoping for bloodshed. . . .Only when the square is awash in blood will the people of China open their eyes.’’

Chai said the interview was mistranslated and taken out of context. The filmmakers, Carma Hinton and Richard Gordon, stand by their work.

Since the film’s release, the filmmakers have maintained a website that includes updates on Chai and Jenzabar and links to articles, including several from the Globe, that are unflattering.

Chai and her company sued the filmmakers and their company, the Long Bow Group, for defamation and trademark infringement. The trademark claim seeks to bar the filmmakers from using “Jenzabar’’ as a keyword on their website, which would prevent the nonglowing stories from coming up when somebody Googles the software company. The defamation charge was quickly thrown out. The trademark dispute dragged on until a judge dismissed it last week.

The suit is a transparent attempt to shut down negative publicity. Jenzabar hasn’t disputed the facts in the stories. It’s merely trying to make it more difficult to find them.

It’s no fun to have people write negative things about you, and to have those things live forever online. That’s a downside of the First Amendment. But free expression is vital to democracy, and it shouldn’t be vulnerable to endless legal maneuverings.

Going after websites using trademark law is the kind of tactic that deep-pocketed companies have been deploying more and more frequently to shut down negative commentary about them, said Paul Alan Levy, the filmmakers’ attorney and founder of the Internet Free Speech project at Public Citizen, a citizen advocacy nonprofit. Even if the plaintiffs in these cases don’t prevail in court, they can stifle their opponents by bleeding them of cash. Hinton and Gordon dropped $250,000 on private lawyers. If Public Citizen hadn’t stepped in to represent them pro bono, they would have been ruined by Jenzabar.

“The trademark case is an excuse to punish the filmmakers for having the audacity to portray Chai and others in a not completely favorable light,’’ said Levy.

Jenzabar’s general counsel sent along a statement yesterday making the ludicrous claim that it’s the financially-strapped filmmakers who prolonged the dispute — by not caving in, judging from the legal documents.

Levy is certain Jenzabar will appeal both the trademark and defamation losses, and the Jenzabar statement seems to promise just that, calling the dismissal “just one more step in a lengthy legal process.’’

Chai, who was unwell and couldn’t speak to me Friday, does good work through her Jenzabar Foundation, and she still pushes for democracy in China. But her fight should begin here at home.

Liu, serving an 11-year sentence for subversion, could not be in Oslo to accept his Nobel Prize. In his place, actress Liv Ullman read his last public statement.

It reads, in part: “To strangle freedom of speech is to trample on human rights, stifle humanity, and suppress truth.’’

Was Chai listening?

Yvonne Abraham is a Globe columnist. She can be reached at