A legal aid group in Beijing was recently shut down by the government and was subject to a penalty of 1.2 million yuan (US$175,000) for alleged tax evasion. Xu Zhidong, a member of the group, was detained by the authority on July 30. By coincidence, in Hong Kong, a supposedly free city of China, two cultural preservationists were suddenly charged with HK$270,000 (US$34,000) as a compensation for the cost of a judicial review two years ago. Money seems to be a new weapon for the Beijing and Hong Kong governments to suppress the civil society.
"Shall we protest? _ Chotbul Documentary" is an independent documentary about the digitally networked protest in 2008, S.Korea. Chotbul literally means the candlelight but a metonym for the candlelight vigil protest in this context. Chotbul as a daily protest lasted at least 4 months from May 2nd till August, 2008 and it still continues and evolves in a number of diverse ways. This documentary shows how the Chotbul protest firstly against the mad cow disease concern out of U.S. beef import negotiation and Lee government has been organized by netizens through the internet for the first days of protests, 2nd and 3rd of May, 2008. Like Chotbul participants’ self-organizing and sharing culture for creatively networked protests and grassroot tactical media, this documentary should be also shared as an open content for free copying, distributing and remixing.
In Malaysia, lawyers and journalists have been arrested while in the course of doing their duties. This has caused concerns to citizens because of the rampant arrests. As a concerned citizen, Citizen Journalist, Chan Lilian attended a candlelight vigil on a balmy, moonlite night. However, things turned ugly when the police hauled up the emcee of the vigil and threatened to arrest everyone else. A sad end to a peaceful gathering asking for democracy, truth, justice and freedom.
A black T-shirt caused the massive arrest of 116 opposition members by the Malaysian government. It almost breaks the record set by the notorious Operasi Lalang more than 20 years ago in which 119 social activists, oppositions and religious people were arrested for violating the Internal Security Act.
We are pleased to announce the launching of Info-Rhizome: Report on Independent Media in Chinese-speaking world (2008/09) and the re-launching of interlocals.net.
Info-Rhizome: Report on Independent Media in Chinese-speaking world (2008/09)
The book published in two languages English and traditional Chinese and is free to download for individual use.
We are glad to announce the launching of Info-Rhizome: Report on independent media in the Chinese-speaking world (2008/09). The book is free to download for individual use (details below). However, we also need some revenues to continue our future publication and activist networking. Your donation is highly appreciated. Moreover, please help to promote this book to institution, such as library, NGOs, research centers, etc. It contains useful information for students and media researchers to have a quick overview of the media environment (regulation) and citizen initiatives in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Taiwan. All revenue generated from this book will be used to sustain interlocals.net and research publication on media activism. Please forward this book order form to your friends and colleagues.
This article is written for a book project called Coding Cultures back in 2007 (You can download the book here) . It is about the preservation campaign of Star Ferry pier and Queen's pier in Hong Kong and the role of media and art activists in delivering messages and engaging with the public.
The newly elected Taiwanese president, Ma Ying-jeou, took office on May 20, 2008, which means KMT, the party that had ruled Taiwan from 1945-2000, after 8 years away from power, has regained its familiar position. The restoration of a KMT regime is thought by many as a comeback of the conservatives, because KMT used to adopt a "development comes first" policy, putting labour and environmental justice out of its sight, while further oppressing Taiwan's democracy movement and social movement; at the same time, it also underlines people's disappointment toward the DPP, who used to be the symbol of democracy and reform.
Before election, both parties found Tibet a hot topic
When the outrage broke out in Tibet on Mar 14th, 2008, Taiwan was right in the midst of presidential election frenzy. Ma Ying-jeou, the KMT candidate, reprimanded the abuse of force from the PRC government, and reiterated the consistent respect of the ROC government for the cultural, religious, as well political rights of the Tibetan people. He also clarified the principle of handling cross-strait issues—following the opinion of the majority, which is maintaining the status quo, no independence, no unification, no force.
Decadence of an ideal
Since the nationwide lift of Martial Laws in 1987, the voices for reform that came from "outside the party" had surged in coalition for the establishment of the "Democratic Progressive Party." For quite some time, the DPP was not only a party demanding political democracy, it had also allied itself with numerous social movements, from whose support the party gradually thrived.