China detains lawyers for peasant advocate
The growing repression in China against peasants struggling to keep their lands before the onslaught of "development"—and now against their lawyers—is clearly analogous to peasant struggles raging throughout Latin America. Note the reference to forced sterilizations of peasants in the below story, long a fave tactic against insurgent campesino communities, most recently in southern Mexico. Yet the lefty zines and blogs in the West pay no attention to the Chinese peasant struggle, leaving it to bourgeois organs such as the New York Times. The left in the West seems to fall for the charade that China is still "communist." All of the evidence points to an utterly savage capitalism reigning in the "People's Republic." But the most egregious exponents of the American idiot left go so far as to support the Tiananmen Square massacre as a crackdown on a "counter-revolutionary rebellion." What's really ironic is that these same groups cultivate similar illusions about Islamic fundamentalists like Hezbollah—even as China executes a harsh crackdown on Islamic militants in Uighurstan! From the New York Times, Aug. 18:
China Detains Lawyers for Peasants' Advocate
BEIJING, Aug. 17 — Three lawyers preparing for the trial on Friday of a prominent peasant rights advocate were detained Thursday night in what one characterized as official intimidation.
Two of the lawyers, Li Fangping and Zhang Lihui, were questioned for two hours and then released. But a third, Xu Zhiyong, remained in custody late Thursday. Mr. Li, who recounted the incident, said the trial would apparently still go forward on Friday.
"We think they want to frighten us into leaving," Mr. Li said in a phone interview. "If the lawyers had voluntarily left, then the court could just release its verdict."
The detentions are the latest development in the case of Chen Guangcheng, who is blind and taught himself law. He attracted international attention after he tried to organize a class-action lawsuit on behalf of women in the city of Linyi who had been forced to undergo abortions and sterilization.
Communist Party officials in Linyi retaliated against Mr. Chen and eventually charged him with destroying property and blocking traffic. His supporters say the charges are a baseless, heavy-handed effort to silence an internationally known critic.
Mr. Chen's trial was first scheduled for July 20 but was postponed after more than 200 supporters gathered outside the Yinan County Courthouse, in Shandong Province, before the hearing. Supporters are again expected to rally for him on Friday.
Meanwhile, the defense team has been trying to shuffle lawyers. The lead lawyer, Li Jinfong, had a conflict on Friday and needed to be replaced. Mr. Xu arrived in Yinan County on Tuesday and petitioned the court for permission to represent Mr. Chen, Li Fangping said.
By Thursday, the court had still not granted permission for the switch. In the evening, Mr. Xu went to dinner with Li Fangping and Mr. Zhang. Mr. Li said the lawyers had noticed that a car had followed them all day. After dinner, Mr. Li said, they were approached by a group of men who accused Mr. Xu of stealing from them.
The men beat Mr. Xu for several minutes until a police car arrived and took him to the station, Mr. Li said. Officers later picked up Mr. Li and Mr. Zhang at their hotel and took them in for questioning before releasing them. “We kept explaining that we were just lawyers here to work,” Mr. Li said.
He said Mr. Xu remained in police custody late Thursday night, apparently under suspicion of theft. Mr. Li said that the accusations were false and that they appeared to be intended to disrupt the defense effort on the eve of the trial.