Tuesday, January 08, 2008


It used to be the site of the Song-hu Security Headquarters of the Kuomingtang. At that time there was also a prison in the area where many communist revolutionaries were imprisoned and many of them even killed during China's civil wars (1927-1941, 1945-1949). Now it is the resting place for more than 500 martyrs who died for the revolution against the Kuomingtang as well as those who were killed during the Anti-Japanese War. In July 1995 it was opened to the public to commemorate these heroes of New China and has became one of the most important patriotic educational bases of Shanghai. It is the Martyrs’ Memorial Cemetery in Luoyang (pictured here).

And then along came a plan to dismantle the cemetery and memorial in order to build a "private" cemetery with lots for sale at high end prices.

This in Communist China today.

Apparently this plan didn't sit will with everyone though, especially Maoist youth in China -who knew?

And apparently not just Maoist were upset and took note of the situation.

Writes China Daily about the cemetery paln:
The heated discussions surrounding the case, as with most of the controversies that have started or been fueled by the Internet, demonstrate that the World Wide Web has become an important platform for the expression of public opinion. It is playing an increasingly important role in shaping public discourse that should not be ignored.

The following is from China Worker. I'd say it about qualifies for a Chinese version of "The Lawson File."

Luoyang: ”Reform” or ”betrayal”?

Dismantling, dismantling again, dismantling the living, dismantling the dead; dismantling the country, dismantling the city, dismantling the masses, dismantling even the martyrs.

In December 2007, the Henan newspaper ’Dahe’ (Big River) initially disclosed news of the dismantling of the Martyrs’ Memorial Cemetery in Luoyang. This cemetery was built to commemorate People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers who died liberating Luoyang from the Kuomintang regime during the revolutionary period 1945-49. Within a total of eight cemetery areas, six areas were dismantled by the local government in order to build a commercial cemetery with plots for sale at prices of tens of thousands of yuan.

Other public media and websites have soon picked up on this news. Some persons, especially some Maoist youth and nationalist ’fenqin’, published pictures and wrote articles criticising the government’s actions. In order to release people’s anger and react to these criticisms, the Luoyang city government claimed it was not dismantling the martyrs’ cemetery, but ’renovating’ it instead. They also sacked one official in charge of the martyrs’ cemetery as a way to calm public objections.

This led to the holding of a public festival at the cemetery on 1 January 2008 in protest at the local government’s actions. Approximately 200 people gathered in the cemetery at nine o’clock in the morning, mainly Maoist or pro-military youth and a few martyrs’ relatives. Luoyang city government sent dozens of riot police and local police to watch the whole event and sealed-off a main road to the cemetery. One bus line was stopped for a half-day, people being forced to take a taxi or even walk to the cemetery. Anyway the whole event proceeded peacefully and eventually the police withdraw from the cemetery.

Blow to illusions

The significance of the Luoyang festival-protest is not over yet. Protesters have made clear that if the government does not give a satisfactory answer, people will resume the protest. While not wanting to exaggerate the importance of this affair (this is unfortunately by no means the worst crime committed by a city government) it is still one of the most abhorrent and monstrous acts of demolition.

Reality can teach people much better than 1,000s of words. This affair has been a big blow for those who still have illusions in the current regime, and also for those who shout out ”death to the US and destroy Japan” and ”clear away Taiwan”.

We respect those who died in the fight for the liberation of China from imperialist domination and whose ideals were for social equality. We understand those today who look to this earlier generation as a model and inspiration, even if we believe that a different, i.e genuinely working class, socialist and internationalist programme and political approach is needed. Thus, we would like to remind Maoist youth and nationalist ’fenqin’ not to be deluded by ’patriotism’ and ’socialism with Chinese characteristics’.

A ’socialist’ coat cannot hide a capitalist core in the current society any more. Who is selling out the people? Who is betraying the revolution? Who is serving for greedy capital? It is clear enough.

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