Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"More from Public Occurrences."

This is an occasionally posted partial list of articles that don't appear on the first page of Public Occurrences.

Boycott Citgo. http://publicoccurrenc.blogspot.com/2006/09/hugo-cesar-chavez-and-citgo-boycott.html

Leonardo Barquin. http://publicoccurrenc.blogspot.com/2009/06/sao-barquin-shooting-close-out-memo.html

Wonderful Norway! http://publicoccurrenc.blogspot.com/2009/10/norway.html

October, 1960. http://publicoccurrenc.blogspot.com/2003/01/october-1960.html

Ward Churchill. http://publicoccurrenc.blogspot.com/2007/07/ward-churchillclair-hullchurch-ladi-wr.html

Could We Be a New Yorker Reader? http://publicoccurrenc.blogspot.com/2006/01/could-we-be-new-yorker-reader-parte_04.html

Murder Case Photographs. http://publicoccurrenc.blogspot.com/2006/08/murder-case-photographs-4.html

Nobel Prize. http://publicoccurrenc.blogspot.com/2009/10/gasps-of-astonishment.html

Errata. http://publicoccurrenc.blogspot.com/2009/10/errata.html

Monday, August 30, 2010

Politics & Justice in the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office.

The Murder of Lynne Friend

Ed O’Dell tried to reach Lynne when he didn’t hear back from her that Sunday night. He called and left messages on her answering machine. In his soft southern accent the love and concern is audible.
The moving van arrived as scheduled first thing Monday morning. They left, documenting that they had attempted, unsuccessful, contact with Lynne.
Several calls were placed to the police reporting the abandoned car on the side of the road by the field.
It was Esther Sanchez however who made the missing persons report to police. That was on Monday. She had also left messages on Lynne’s answering machine. There was alarm in her voice. She knew what had happened.
And so the investigation, now 17 years old, began.
It began, as all murder investigations do, with concentric circles of interviews, starting with those closest to the victim and moving outward. Among those in the first circle were Esther Sanchez, Ed O’Dell and Clifford Friend.
As I recall* Clifford was interviewed on that first day, Monday. A uniform officer from one of the municipal departments that shared jurisdiction in the case conducted the routine interview and wrote a report. Cliff told the officer that he had last heard from Lynne on Friday night, August 26, when she had come over to pick up a child support check. The officer didn’t know then about the phone call with Ed O’Dell on Sunday night, the one that was interrupted by a call from Cliff at approximately 8:15. No one in law enforcement knew about that call then.
Esther Sanchez was interviewed by a different officer from, as I recall, a different law enforcement agency. She told the police about the divorce, about threats that Lynne had told her Cliff had made, about the bitter custody battle over little Christian, about Lynne’s fear.
Ed O’Dell flew down from Tennessee to be interviewed. Mr. O’Dell is the nicest of men and very successful in business, which requires shrewdness. Mr. O’Dell must be shrewd or he wouldn’t be so successful. You didn’t have to be shrewd though to have realized, say at about 9 pm on Sunday, that Lynne had been murdered. Yet Mr. O’Dell did not contact the police, not Sunday or Monday. The police contacted him. Once they did, Mr. O’Dell couldn’t have been more cooperative and forthcoming—later he ended up spending many thousands of his own dollars financing a continuation of a misconceived sea search for Lynne’s body. I think the murder of Lynne was well-planned enough that even if Mr. O’Dell had called the police at 9 pm on Sunday the murder wouldn’t have been prevented nor would the perpetrators have been caught immediately thereafter, but the police got a later start than they need have.
This case was never a whodunit however. By the time that first, immediate, circle of people had been interviewed the main subject was known, Clifford Friend. The investigation has dragged on for seventeen years not because the case has gone unsolved, but because of a hard-to-believe series of events that delayed it, and by neglect, laziness and incompetence on the part of (in alphabetical order) the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Miami-Dade Police Department, and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.
*This is written from memory. When I am reasonably certain of something I will write it without qualification. When, as here, I am not, I will qualify it. Clifford Friend was interviewed by police but whether or not it was on that first day, Monday, I am not reasonably certain.

-to be continued

Sunday, August 29, 2010

China's Great Wall of Silence: "Remembrance," The Translation. Song Binbin

Chinese do not argue well.

China's Great Wall of Silence: "Remembrance," The Translation. Song Binbin

6. On Song Binbin


Host: Searching Song Binbin on the Internet, one gets very different results. But all of them have one theme: Song killed seven or eight people. Qian Jia-ju says in his : Song Binbin competed killing people with others. A red guard killed six. In order to win the competition, Song killed eight. I believe all the 1600 students in the High School at that time would laugh at this statement, no matter what opinion she had towards Song. So I would invite Song talk about herself, starting from the name of  Song Yaowu.

宋彬彬: 我班同学记得,8·18下午回到学校后很多人过来跟我握手,还有人开玩笑:彬彬,你以后就改名叫要武吧!我说那是毛主席说的,我不配。
Song: My classmates may remember that after we returned to school on August 18, many people came to shake hands with me. Some said to me: Binbin, youd better change your name to yaowu”’.  I said that was what Chairman Mao said, but I didnt deserve it.  That afternoon, a man journalist from the Guangming Daily came to school and interviewed me.  He asked me the situation when seeing Chairman Mao. I told him about the dialogue of the two sentences. He asked me to write it down. I didnt write, saying that it was not necessary to write just two sentences. I denied. Later I talked to some schoolmates about the journalists request. They all agreed to not writing.

However, I never expected that on August 20, the Guangming Daily published an article in the title of I put red armband to Chairman Mao. The author was Song Yaowu (Song Binbin).  I was very angry when reading this article, and told classmates that I wanted to take neither Song Yaowu nor Song Binbin. My classmates didnt think that Mao requested me to change name in that simple dialogue. And no classmate has ever called me Song Yaowu in last 40 years since then.

Later I always intended to find that reporter, hoping he would come out and do me justice. I have talked to relevant people, but was told that reporters didnt sign true names at that time, therefore there was no way to find him.


Host: I read an article, saying the School for Girls had changed the name to ‘Red Yaowu High School’. It is funny. At that time I saw the sign of ‘Red Yaowu High School’, feeling bad at heart. I was 16 then.  No teacher or student could accept this name. Is it better than the High School for Girls? The sign was torn off after a few days.


Song: On August 21, the article was reproduced by Peoples Daily, and spread over the whole nation immediately. I was not able to clear things out. Nobody would believe the truth that I would tell. Later many people from other places came to see me, and they were disappointed when seeing me.  They said: how come you look like this?  You are not like what we liked to see.   

After Liu Jin and I announced to withdraw from the Prep. Committeeon August 19, I basically withdrew from the schools movement, becoming a free person. All my classmates defending the work team became free people. We established a group called hitting the water in the middle of the river.  Some people called us hitting the water in the middle of day, as we went swimming in the lake every noon. My name upset me a lot. I didnt like Song Yaowu, but could not return to Song Binbin, either. People in my group proposed that we would browse a dictionary, and randomly pick a character. A classmate brought a dictionary, randomly went to a page, and pointed to a character with her finger. Her finger was on the character Yan2(rock).  I felt it OK, and changed my name to Song Yan.  After that I used Song Yan in the countryside and work. 

于羚:当时我们学校来的信都在门房(传达室)里,有个大纸盒子,学生都去那儿找信。我是住校生,父母都调外地工作了,我的家信比较多,总跑去看信。给我印象特别深的是,八一八过后,传达室大纸盒子里的信骤增,铺天盖地的都是宋要武收。 当时我就认为这个名字是强加给宋彬彬的,我不认为宋彬彬愿意改这个名字,那时我并不认识她。现在看来,所谓改名的始作俑者,就是《光明日报》记者,他的那篇文章将宋要武凝固成一个符号,但宋要武从来就不是宋彬彬。

Yu Ling: At the time, all incoming letters to the school were in the reception room. There was a big box. Students always looked for their letters in it. I was a boarding student, as my parents had been transferred to another city.  Receiving more letters, I often went to collect them. I was deeply impressed that after August 18, incoming letters in the big box suddenly increased. All of them were addressed to Song Yaowu. At that time I didnt know her in person. Now it is clear that the name change was started by the reporter of Guangming Daily. His article symbolized Song Yaowu.  But this Song Yaowuhas never been Song Binbin.   


Host: Liu Yilun at class 1 of senior high grade 3 also opened many letters, too many to read. The letters were mostly meaningless, and could belong to two categories. One was to pay respect to Song Yaowu, learn from her, and was determined to carry the cultural revolution to the end. The other type was to tell her that the cultural revolution was subdued, the capitalist-roaders suppressed the rebel faction, and hoped that Song could come and support them. A letter from a school in Wuhan said that Song Yaowu supported royalists and defended the Hubei Provincial Committee, We revolutionary rebel faction are feeling very disappointed and angry,and hoping she will act in the nick of time. Therefore, Liu Yilun knew that Song had a trip to Wuhan, and defended the provincial committee there. Song Binbin, besides the event of August 18, many people deeply remember your trip to Wuhan. There are various legends on the Internet. Please tell us why you went to Wuhan, and what you did over there?      


Ye Weili: I beg to interpose. You signed the name of Song Yaowu in a pamphlet published in Hubei. So we thought you used this name. At our first meeting connected by Liu Jin, I said to you: “You said in Karma’s movie that you never used the name of ‘Song Yaowu.’ That statement was not completely true.” The reason comes exactly from your trip to Wuhan. At that time you didn’t like to talk about that trip, and I didn’t insist. I am feeling that it is time now for you talk about it.


Song Binbin: On December 25, 2007, I attended a party with more than 10 classmates. Someone mentioned this trip, and recalled what I said then.  They encouraged me to write my experience with it. I didnt like to talk about the trip to Wuhan, in order not to hurt other people. One of my classmates worked in Hubei. She said that many people there hated me. I was scolded many times, but still was not willing to talk about the Wuhan trip.


Now I will talk my trip to Hubei. Wang Renzhong, Hubeis provincial Party secretary, was a member of the cultural revolution group of the central committee in early cultural revolution. He invited Liu Jin and I to Diao Yu Tai, and asked us to go to Wuhan. The time was after August 18. Due to the relationship between parents, Wang Renzhong knew two of us. He also invited Luo Xiaohai, Bu Dahua of the High School Attached to Qinghua University. He invited all of us to Hubei, to defend the provincial committee.


Liu Jin: Wang Renzhong said that the Hubei Provincial Committee was revolutionary. But some people were opposed to it, which might have a background. He recited a quotation from Chairman, and asked us what to do?  You said immediately that you were not allowed to oppose the provincial committee. Wang Renzhong said: Can you go to Wuhan?I said: Are people encouraged to liberate themselves? Why are we asked to go? I blurted out the words, and didnt think much, but felt it was not in the spirit of liberating selves. Why do we have to go? Are there people in Hubei?Then Wang Renzhong asked you: Binbin, what about you? You said you could go.   

Song Binbin: I agreed to go to Wuhan, because I trusted Wang Renzhong. He was my fathers long-time subordinate during the war against Japan. He and my father pulled same plow during the great hunger. My father praised Wang as one of four talents in his army.  In fact I dont remember many details in Wuhan, but pieces of memory were recalled in the investigation in recent years.


I went to Wuhan in early September 1966. Upon arrival, we were accommodated in a provincial hotel.  After us, Luo Xiaohai and Bu Dahua of the High School Attached to Qinghua University also arrived and stayed there. College students defending the provincial committee came to see us for our support. I said we had to visit universities, to reach conclusion.  We visited several universities and Wuhan Steel Factory, reading big-character posters and calling conferences. We discussed after a few days, and the conclusion was: Hubei Provincial Committee basically was good, with 30% failure and 70% success. We drafted an article for them to read. In a morning, we read an open letter in the Yangtze Daily, signed by Song Yaowu and other 4 people, and were very surprised. The open letter was not our draft but very different from it. Not only wording was intense, but also mixed with prevalent vulgar language. I was very upset when seeing Song Yaowu, and immediately went to the provincial committee to talk the person in charge. He talked to me for a long time, and cried: We followed Chairman Mao to climb the snowy mountains, cross the grassland, go through the hardship in anti-Japan war, and many comrades have died. Now they try to get to us. How can we be anti-Party and anti-Chairman Mao?

Frankly, I was very sympathetic with them, and didnt believe they were capitalist-roaders of anti-Party and anti-Chairman Mao. I said that we could make a statement to support the provincial committee, but they had to be realistic, too. I didnt write the open letter. It could not be published in my name. And my name was not Song Yaowu.  They agreed that I would write a statement, and gave to the provincial committee to print and distribute. At that night I finished writing the statement, saying the Hubei Provincial Committee was good, and I didnt agree to knock it down, and didnt like to see the opposition of the two factions of people, either. But they suddenly told me that my father was very sick, and they had purchased the train tickets for us five people. I worried a lot, and gave them the statement, and asked them to publish. Arriving home, I asked what the matter was with my father. My mom answered that my father was not sick. At that time I realized that the Hubei Provincial Committee was trying to send me away.


I told my mom about the trip. She advised me not to mention it again. She said it was incorrect for them to do this, but they were at a juncture of calamity, had been denounced and beaten up, and had no way out. Under that circumstance, they adopted this trick of taking advantage of the name of Song Yaowu to protect themselves. But I took it too earnestly, and intended to publish a statement. Without any other way out, they sent me away.  Listening to mothers words, I felt to be able to understand those people. Since then I never discussed the trip to Wuhan, until now. 

主持人:我这里有那份夹在《长江日报》中的传单,题目是《致北京、武汉革命同学的公开信》,全文不到3000字,公开信发表时间是196696日,署名宋要武  华小康  刘静梓  朱培  潘小红,后4人是高一2班学生。

Host: I have here the pamphlet inserted in the Yangtze Daily, in the title of An open letter to the revolutionary students in Beijing and Wuhan. The whole letter consists of less than 3000 characters. The letter was published on September 6, 1966, and was signed by Song Yaowu, Hua Xiaokang, Liu Jingzi, Zhu Pei and Pan Xiaohong. The latter four people were students from class 2 of senior high grade 1.


Liu Jin: Liu Jingzi wrote an article about the trip. After arriving in Wuhan, they borrowed a few bicycles and went to University of Wuhan, Central China Engineering College, several other universities and Wuhan Steel Factory, to read big-character posters, call conferences, and discuss whether the provincial committee needed to be knocked down. Consensus was reached that the provincial committee should not be knocked down as it was revolutionary. But there were different opinions on the provincial committees merits and demerits.


Song Binbin was invited by the provincial committee to talk. She was excited when coming back. She changed the original 30% failure versus 70% success to 20% failure versus 80% success. Song Binbin and Zhang Xiaokang started to draft an article, with one person dictating and the other writing. The content mostly was analysis and reasoning, so was quite mild. But they never expected that when the draft was published, it was totally changed, and lots of names callings were added. It became an ultra-rightist declaration. They were all stunned when seeing the pamphlet, in particular Song Binbins expression. All of them thought they had to write a statement, to say they didnt write the article.  It was not their opinion. Later, the Hubei provincial committee purchased train tickets, and sent them away.


Host: This matter is clear. The Hubei Provincial Committee was not able to work by itself, and intended to intimidate the local rebel students with students from Beijing, particularly Song Yaowu.  From announcing to withdraw from the Prep. Committeeon August 19 to the end of cultural revolution, did you take part in any other relevant activities, besides the trip to Wuhan?


Song:  No. Thats all of my activities in the early cultural revolution. I would take this opportunity to make a statement: Ive never taken part in or organized any violence or radical activities such as beating, searching house or denouncing students. Except for the trip to Wuhan, Ive never taken part in any activities of conservative or rebel factions in other places.

叶维丽:去年《南方周末》有一篇纪念汶川地震一周年的文章, 题目叫《不要让地震成为一个传说》,我读后就想,我们也不能让文革成为一个传说。关于宋彬彬的事情,今天确实成了传说。

Ye Weili: Last year,The Southern Weekend published an article to mark the 1st anniversary of the Wenchuan earthquake.  The title isDont let the earthquake to become a legend. We should not allow the cultural revolution to become a legend, either.  Song Binbin has indeed become a legend.


Host: In the year before last, I read an article by Ms. Wang Rongfen, which mentioned a story by Lin Mang (another name of this person is Chen Hongtao). During the culture revolution, Song Binbin once wore silk shirt and fancy skirt, with a tall boy student standing by her, interrogated Lin and a teacher of history. He was beaten up by the boy student and several female red guards. That night he decided to commit suicide with electricity together with his mother, but failed to die.  That teacher of history has verified that the event happened after the worker propaganda team came to the school in 1968 when all graduates of 1966 had left. Some worked in Beijing, most went to the countryside. The school had recruited new students including both boys and girls. In fact, that teacher of history was not interrogated with Lin Mang. Mr. Lin was not possible to meet Song Binbin, either.  At that time, Song was house arrested in Shenyang by the Gang of Fours accomplice. Obviously, Wang Rongfens article is another legend of Song Binbin.  


Song: Let me continue my story.  In early 1967 after Deng Xiaoping was down, Jiang Qing labeled my father as the biggest capitalist-roader in Northeast China. In a meeting she scolded my father of protecting Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping, and said that Song Renqiong’s daughter went to Wuhan to protect the Provincial Committee of Hubei. In early April 1968, my mother and I were escorted to Shenyang. Mom was locked up in the building for Northeast China, to be criticized and denounced for Father, and was not allowed to come home, and later was sent to cadre school to do physical labor.  I was house arrested, and not allowed any outside contact.   


At a night in early winter 1969, with the help of younger brother and sister, I made up a boy and fled home, to seek shelter with classmates at the grazing land in Inner Mongolia. Rumors arrived before me. It was said that Song Yaowu would kill people, set fire to houses, rape women, and do all the evil things. Many villagers feared of taking me. As I ran away to there and was not able to register residency, thus has no settlement fees, no ration, and no work points for working, either. The youth from Beijing gave me their clothes and ration. Later I also got the help and protection from the herdsmen, and finally registered residency.  

Universities started to enroll worker-peasant-soldier students in 1972. At the time my parents were imprisoned in a military farm in Liaoning Province. Because of Fathers problem and rumors about me, I didnt extravagantly hope to attend college, even though I was a student of senior high grade 3 at the High School for Girls. Unexpectedly, with the help of educated young people, herdsmen and the recruiters, I became a worker-peasant-soldier college student. Teachers Jin, the Inner Mongolian recruiter, told me: Under such circumstances you still got so many peoples trust and sincere help. Dont give up ideals and hopes. Rumors are only rumors, but never become reality. Eyes of the mass are sharp. The history will prove your innocence. A stranger could say such words to me. I was deeply moved. From entering school to graduation, the leaders, teachers and students supported me with sincere love and friendship.  They went against the pressure from the accomplice of Gang of Four in Northeast China, protecting the daughter of the biggest capitalist-roader in Northeast China. I will always remember their kindness, upright and courage.  


My experience in the cultural revolution makes me intend to leave the noise, to work hard and lead a quiet life. I didnt do business, politics, and was not interested in fame and promotion. I only dealt with rocks, air and data, and honestly treated all people around me. But the tree may prefer calm but the wind keeps blowing. Wherever I went, rumors and abuses always followed. I was perplexed, distressed and hopeless on one hand, but on the other I felt the understanding and support from the people around me.  They gave me warmth and confidence for life which led me walk through the tough life for more than 40 year

我到美国读书后也遇到了同样的困扰。刚一下飞机,华人办的《世界日报》等,就掀起了许多谣言。还有国内的访问学者向中国大使馆告我,说我到美国上学拿的是CIA的钱,大使馆曾上报中央,有关部门也对我进行过调查。那时为了挣学费,我除了在学校做助教(一周工作20个小时),还在犹太人家中做了四年多的帮佣,做饭打扫遛狗带孩子,什么都干过。中国大使馆曾去我就读的美国学校BCBoston College波士顿学院)调查,学校作证,说我做助教是校方出的奖学金。当时我的系主任非常生气,说向大使馆告我属于特务行为,他一定要我讲出是谁告的我,学校要开除这种人。我坚持不说,不想给别人找麻烦。我去MIT麻省理工学院)上学后,跟周围访问学者的关系都很好。当地华人期刊或报纸刊登关于我的谣言时,他们都非常愤怒,有人还要写文章替我澄清。我不想再搅得沸沸扬扬,成为焦点,只想安静地做自己的事。

I encountered same type of trouble after coming to study in the U.S. Immediately stepping off the airplane, the Chinese-language newspaper, the World Journal, spread a lot of rumors on me. Some visiting scholars from China reported to Chinese embassy on me, saying that I was attending the American school with CIAs funding. Chinese embassy reported the allegation to CCPs central committee.  CCPs relevant department investigated me. At that time I worked on campus 20 hours per week as teaching assistant. In addition, I worked as maid for a Jewish family for 4 years, by doing everything, including cooking, cleaning, walking dogs and baby-sitting. Chinese embassy went to my school, Boston College, to investigate me.  The school proved that my assistantship was from the school.  My department chair was very angry, saying reporting to Chinese embassy was spying.  He insisted that I told him who that person was, and the school would expel him/her. But I didnt tell him, because I didnt want to make trouble for other people. After moving to MIT, I kept good relationships with the visiting scholars from China. When the local newspapers or magazines published rumors on me, they became very angry.  Some of them wanted to write articles to clarify. I didnt like to attract attention, but only do my own things quietly.

在美国多年中,BBC等许多新闻机构的记者都曾想采访我,被我拒绝了。网上怎么骂我、侮辱我、评论我,我也都不理睬。2002年,我的一些美国朋友告诉我,在美国许多大学图书馆看到了一本美国出版的关于性学的研讨文集,这本书是西方许多大学的参考书。书中有一篇美国学者Emily Honing的文章,内容以女附中85日事件为例研究女性暴力。Honing从没到北京和师大女附中做过调查,她的主要依据是一篇女附中原高一3班学生写的文章。美国朋友们认为她对我的指控很能吸引西方人的眼球,以致西方学者读此文后都确信宋彬彬就是八五暴力事件的组织者。因此,不单是Honing,连为此书作序的一位世界著名的性学权威,也在序言中专门挑出Honing的文章,以我和我父亲为例来讨论问题。*
During many years in the U.S., reporters from BBC and other mass media intended to interview me. I refused all of them. I didnt respond to the abuses, humiliation and comments on the Internet. In 2002, some American friends told me that they read a book of article collection in some university libraries. This was a reference book in many universities. An article about women violence in the book by Emily Honing was a research based on the August 5 incident at the High School for Girls. Honing had never been to Beijing and the High School for Girls for investigation. Her major source was from an article written by a student at class 3 of senior high grade 1. My American friends said her accusation against me could attract western readers, and many western scholars believed that Song Binbin was the organizer of the violent August 5 Incident at the High School for Girls. Thereafter, not only Honing, but also an authority on sex studies mentioned Honings article, in the preface for the book, to discuss the question by taking me and my father as examples.


At that time many Chinese scholars in the U.S. were very angry. They said to me that I didnt speak out before, because all were rumors and information without normal sources. But now the unofficial history had become official. The book had been published in the West, and become a reference book in all Western universities. You had to speak out. I used to deny any interviews. But this time I thought I had to defend myself.      

朋友们都认为Honing的文章和此书的序言是严重失实的,影响广泛而恶劣。许多人建议我以失职、诬告及名誉诽谤罪起诉作者、序作者和出版社,有人帮我联系好了律师。后经一位美国朋友居中沟通,使我了解到,Honing是错在没有去北京和女附中实地调查,偏信了别人的文章;而出版社和序作者又都相信了Honing和前面那篇文章,他们都承认犯了学者不该犯的错误。由于美国朋友的调停,我最终没有走法律程序,同意了由作者、序作者和出版社在一家著名学术刊物《亚洲研究通讯》(Asian Studies Newsletter)上向我公开道歉(译文和原文附后)。

All my friends thought Honings article and the books preface were very untrue. The influence was wide and vile. Many people proposed to sue the author, the preface author and the publisher for dereliction of duty, false accusation and reputation slander. Some one arranged a lawyer for me. Later from an American friend, I learned that Honing didnt come to Beijing and the High School for Girls to conduct investigation, but mistakenly trusted another persons article. And the publisher and preface author believed in Honing and that article. They all admitted that they had made mistakes that scholars shouldnt have. Thanks to mediation of my American friends, eventually I didnt take the case to court, but agreed that the author, preface author and publisher publish an apology in a well-known academic publication, the Asian Studies Newsletter. The letter is attached to the end of this article.    


Last question. My friends dont understand your behavior in Karmas film. As you have been demonized for many years, why did you not defend yourself in the film?


Song: At the beginning of shooting the Sun in the Morning, Karma intended to interview me. I refused. Later, when making of the movie was nearly complete, she added the interview to it, and took it to Berlin for editing. I didnt appear in the movie, but only made voice statement, to deny some rumors. I had reason for doing this way. At the time my son was attending school in the U.S., and I was working at the environmental department of the state government. After 911, we had too much work at the office. One worker had assignment of two or three persons, and had to be on duty on weekends, holidays and snowstorms. I was very tired. Karmas movie will be broadcasted in Americas public TV stations. If I had appeared in the movie, my company would become a social attraction, how could we work? I didnt want to become a public figure in the U.S., so could not appear in Karmas movie. This was my consideration at that time, but didnt expect another bout of misunderstanding and attacks.  


Ye Weili:  Feng Jinglan talked about the two versions of the death of Bian in the opening statement. I would like to talk about why after Wang Youqin had published an article, I still wanted do this topic. In fact, to do it is an extension of reorganizing my and our generations development.  I was deeply saddened by the death of Bian, and still had nightmares many years after.  Reorganizing my history cannot circumvent this important incident. I am a student of history, and like to put this incident to the historical environment of those years. Wang Youqin had published her article. But I thought that research on the cultural revolution was not too much, but too little. When an event was studied by more people, we would have better understanding of it.


In my investigation, Ive seen that the cultural revolution is ignored and forgotten. When I was looking for Principal Bians photo at the office of school history of the High School for Girls, a worker had heard that Principal Bian was beaten to death in the cultural revolution, but said: Did university students come here to do it? This workers father was the school doctor. Her aunt was one of the school leaders who were beaten up on August 5, 1966. She was so ignorant as a worker of school history. The situation was shocking, which drove me to do this topic. In the matter of resisting forgetfulness, Wang Youqin and I share same opinions.  


Recently some people proposed to investigate the killers of the incident. It is my opinion that our question is more complex than catching several killers. I have been thinking in these years that why students from an excellent school for girls could become violent beaters? What type of education caused some of us did such bloody atrocities? I tried to answer these questions in my book ‘The Turmoil of Youth’. In my investigation of the death of Principal Bian, I ‘ve found it a question being asked by many alumni. We are all seeking answers. So I find it quite significant to ask these questions.   

2002年开始做调查后,我得到过很多人的帮助。冯敬兰帮我联系了我们班十来位同学,听她们讲述当年目击的情形。于羚也介绍我采访了一些高中的同学。 2002年夏天一个偶然的机会我碰到刘进。我八五那天不在校,没看见卞校长躺在垃圾车上惨不忍睹的形状,给我刺激最深的是刘进第二天在广播里讲的一句话,死了就死了。那天见到刘进,我问了心中存了很久的问题:你那天说没说过死了就死了?对我这个陌生人突如其来的提问,刘进回答,说了,毫无闪烁其辞。她同时告诉我这句话的来历。刘进坦诚的态度给我留下了很好的印象。此后刘进对我的调查一直非常支持,包括帮我联系访问宋彬彬。

I have been helped by many people since I started the investigation in 2002. Feng Jinglan helped me contact more than 10 classmates who told me what they saw about the incident. Yu Ling also introduced me to some students of senior high. In the summer 2002 I met Lin Jin by chance. I was not in school on August 5, 1966, so didn’t see the miserable status of Principal Bian in the garbage cart. What she said in the broadcast speech stimulated me the most: ‘dead is dead.’ When seeing Liu Jin that day, I asked her the question that had been in my mind for a long time, ‘Did you say ‘dead is dead’ that day?’ To this sudden question from a stranger, Liu Jin answered: ‘yes, I did’, with no attention to deny. Then she explained to me why she said it. She left me a good impression with her honest attitude. Later Liu Jin was very helpful to my investigation, including helping me contact and visit Song Binbin.   


I am also grateful for Mr. Wang Jinggui, husband of Principal Bians help for my investigation. As Principal Bians relative, he kept the blood evidence for other relatives and the victims of the cultural revolution, under the extremely difficult circumstances. In Hu Jies film, he took out Bians clothes one piece of Principals after another. I was moved, and admired him. Mr. Wang made historical contribution. I like to thank all people who have helped me. We all refuse to forget, and look at the history.  


The August 5 Incident has become history.  It provides not only a typical case of violence in the cultural revolution, but a model for research on politics, history, culture, education, psychology and gender. No only Principal Bians misery makes us think deeply, but also those students torturing her, have also displayed typical significance. I remember a student beating up the teachers.  Many people remember her name. She was a beautiful girl, looking like Zhao Xingmei, the heroine in the movie The Bitter Flower. Later she became the most famous reactionary studentof the school. Her major reactionary speech was recorded in my diary of March 28, 1968: We must wait 20 year to see who will win and lose. Whether the CCPs Central Group for Cultural Revolution is correct only can be proved dozens of years later. Deduced from various theories, revisionism will definitely appears in China.

My diary on April 2 again described that she was criticized and denounced that day.  Her arms were hold backward by students. She angrily lifted her head and spoke loud: We have to wait another 20 years to see whether the central group of cultural revolution is correct.Later we gradually went to countryside. A few years after, we heard she was insane. Aforementioned Li Lili from class 4 of senior high grade 3, who was opposed to the work team, also became insane due to the cultural revolution. Later she caught the lupus sebaceous, and died of drug overdose at the age of 22 after settling down in the countryside in northeastern China. Wen Jia, a student from class 4 of junior high grade 3, nearly received capital punishment. She was released after the cultural revolution, but was insane. I felt sad when I think of them. I settled down in the countryside in 1968, three years after Principal Bian died. From there, I heard that some teachers committed suicide. I remember there were 4 of them. Of them, Zhou Xuemin, a special class language teacher who created ‘Teaching Method of Zhou Xuemin’, and Hu Xiuzheng, only in her early 30s when she died. This is the evil cultural revolution.


Today, we five alumni with different family background and life experience, come together to fulfill a long-delayed desire – to leave the true memories behind. We know that moral enthusiasm is not historical facts. Collective indignation must not replace rational pondering. Nobody can monopolize the explanation of history, nor hold the truth in hand forever.  Exactly based on this knowledge, we are sincerely expecting criticism and correction from our alumna, informants and scholars.

 An Apology to Song Binbin
-- Asian Studies Newsletter, Spring Issue, 2003. Volume 48, Number 2, P38  www.aasianst.org
The contributors and editors of Chinese Femininities/Chinese Masculinities (University of California Press, 2002) listed below would like to publicly apologize to Song Binbin and her family for including in the first printing of the book statements that presented Ms. Song as responsible for violent acts that occurred near the start of Cultural Revolution. Including these statements in the book was a serious error in judgment. Furthermore, new information has come to light, in the form of interviews conducted by the Long Bow Group for their documentary film Morning Sun, that directed contradicts the notion that Ms. Song was involved in acts of violence. The editors are very sorry for the offense given and distress caused to Ms. Song and her family. The University of California Press joins in apologizing for this situation. An errata sheet is being included in the remaining copies of the first printing of the book, and when it goes into a second printing, the offending passages on pages I and 259 will be stricken or changed. This statement has been issued by the editors listed below both to express their regret to Ms. Song and her family for any distress cause and also to ask anyone who purchased the book to please disregard the statements in question.

Susan Brownell, Emily HoningThomas Laqueur, and Jeffrey Wasserstrom.

Photo: Song Binbin, painting by Professor Xu Weixin.

Friday, August 27, 2010

It's not just me.

Make that ten.

It's not just me

Arts and Letters Daily is the finest index to middle-brow articles as exists anywhere.  There are nine entries on China listed on the aldaily web page.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Countries of Readers (avec le commentarie)

Australia.  There are a lot of apologists for the PRC living Down Under.
Brazil:  Where did you guys get your flag, off the cutting shop floor of the set of the Jetsons?
Costa Rica
Czech Republic
Denmark: Have you guys gotten over the sparrow and the dominoes?
Estonia: Hi, where are you?
Hong Kong
Hungary: Unfortunate name.
Malaysia: I remember when President Carter said America was suffering from Malaysia.
Morocco: "Play it once, Sam. For old times' sake."
Netherlands: The Netherlands.
Norway: How's King Harald?
Peru: Sendero Luminosa kaput, eh?
South Korea: Glad to see you're still around.
Turkey: Unfortunate name.
Uganda:  UGANDA!  Idi Amin!  "This is normal brain (image of plain slice of cheese)."  "This is Idi Amin brain (image of slice of Swiss cheese)."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

China's Great Wall of Silence: "Remembrance," The Translation. Part Five (part II)

"Fuli, come over here. What do all zeez little lines say?"

This concludes, I think, Fuli's translation of Part Five.  

The Incident of August 5

Liu Jin: In the In memory of August 5 Incident, Principal Hu wrote that on August 5 she went to talk to the official in charge of cadres at CCPs Beijing Committee, to tell him the beating up problem the day before at the school, emphasizing that lives of the leaders at the grass-roots level were in danger. That official had no countermeasure to deal with the situation, but only told her to go back to school. Then Hu went to the CCPs  western district committee, but didnt get a definite answer, either. She came to the school at one oclock in the afternoon on August 5, and found the campus extremely quiet,  feeling ominous. She took a broom, pretending to clean the womens toilet, to observe the situation. Teacher Mei Shumin, the deputy dean, thought that the denouncement meeting was planned.  He remembered that he was notified by a student in the morning to gather at 2 oclock in the afternoon. Of the written description of the August 5 Incident, besides Principal Hus article, Tang Fusheng of Junior grade 1, Feng Jinglan and Ye Weili of junior grade 3, Wang Youqin of senior grade 1, Liu Xinlun of senior grade 3 and others also wrote about it. Recently Liu Xinlun, from class 1 of senior high grade 3, mentioned a new fact. She remembered that the school leaders were escorted from the auditorium, and paraded and denounced around the playground.  

Where were you at that time? When did you know that the school leaders were being paraded and denounced outside?

 Lin Jin: At that time some students and I were in the office of history, geography and politics in the East Building. It was also the office for the work team. As said before, we got together everyday, to discuss and look for new directions, which mostly was empty talking. At about 2 o’clock, several student of junior high section rushed in, saying that beating was taking place in the playground. A student of junior high grade 3 in a recent year recalled: in the afternoon of August 5, she and several other students were sleeping in a room in the East Building.  A boy student of the High School attached to College of Petroleum came to see her, saying as soon as he entered the door: ‘you girls are tougher than boys. They are beating up people in the playground.’ Hearing this, she immediately came to tell us.  Song Binbin and I and others immediately went downstairs, and rushed to the playground, seeing the school leaders were being paraded with dust pan in their hand. Some teachers’ head was covered by waster paper basket. Principal Hu’s clothes were extremely dirty. Majority of these students were from senior high grade 1. Those from other grades were watching. We asked them to stop beating. They said they were denouncing black gangsters. We said that beating people was wrong. And the Party’s policy had to be implemented. They said the work team didn’t allow them to denounce gangsters, but now it was OK to do so. We said it was OK to denounce and parade, but beating was not right. Those students didn’t say anything more. We asked them to disband.  After many onlookers were gone, we left the scene, too.


After some time, a junior student rushed to us, saying beating was taking place at the back playground. At once we rushed there. Many students, from various grades, were present. The school leaders were lifting soil baskets. Some students were supervising them, with sticks in hand.  I was deeply impressed by the dean, teacher Wang Yubing. She was somewhat paralyzed, and weeping, and frightened once the students shouted to her. The basket was rather big, she was not able to lift it indeed. We said that they could do physical work, but didnt beat them. We stayed for a while and left when no one beat them again.  At about evening, a student came in saying the Principal Bian was dying, and she was in the back yard. Song Binbin, I and other students at once rushed downstairs.  At the back playground, we saw Principal Bian lying in a handcart, face in very poor color, white foam flowing out from her mouth, and a strange odor coming from her body. Obviously she was dying. I had never been in such situation. I was feeling the whole sky was falling.  My first reaction was to send her to a hospital for rescue.  There were few people present at the time.  Later more came. The scene was becoming chaotic. The schools back gate was usually locked. I asked students to get the key from the workers. Wang Yonghai, the worker, came and unlocked the gate, and asked people to call Bians house. Later it was proved that the person who notified Bians family was Zhao Guiying from the schools Party committee office. Liu Xinlun, from class 1 of senior high grade 3, proved that Song Binbin and a student in family name Zhu from class 2 of senior high grade 3, and several other students went to the hospital for doctors. Later student Zhu told Liu XinLun, the doctor was unwilling to come when knowing the patient was a gangster. Song Binbin argued with him right away, saying that it was discipline of the Peoples Liberation Army to treat the captives well. A young male doctor and an old nurse came, and injected cardiac stimulant to Bian. However, Song Binbin and I dont remember all these details. We were totally frightened.


I was pushing the cart, several students helped push it on the sides, to send Principal Bian to the Hospital of Post and Telecommunications. I remember that many students and teachers were rushing to the hospital with us. The doctors didn’t dare rescue. We argued with them. Math teacher Li Songwen was one of two teacher representatives, and leader of temporary Party branch. He was an honest person, and usually not talked much. But he was angry this time, and urged the hospital to start right away.  The rescue started after a time of argument. At about 9 o’clock, Bian was announced dead. Then, Bian’s husband came. He became very emotional, and cried loudly.


Host: Where did you go after leaving the hospital?  


Liu Jin: After the death of Principal Bian, we felt that it was a serious event, and had to report it to the higher authorities. We knew that CCPs central committee was having a meeting in the Beijing Hotel, and we could find leaders over there. It was midnight when we arrived at Beijing Hotel by walking. We asked to see Li Xuefeng, the first Party secretary of Beijing. But Li refused to see us. We then asked to see Wu De, the second secretary. His assistant came out and advised us to go back and come again the next day, as Wu De had already gone to bed.  We insisted to see him, saying the matter was very critical. Finally, he agreed to allow us to see Wu De. I dont remember how many of us entered Wus room, but Song Binbin and I were definitely among those. After listening to our report, Wu didnt speak for a long time. Later he spoke slowly: in such a big movement, many kinds of problems might happen. Dead people could not revive. Dead is dead. He also said that: Dont be too frightened. Please keep it confidential. Dont spread the influence, etc.    


Walking back to school, we sat up to the morning. No one slept. The principal was dead.  This was a big event for the school. We had to tell the students of whole school about it. But who would make the announcement? Some students said that I had been the chair of student representatives, so Id better make a speech.  I was rather hesitant, feeling difficult to speak. But who else could do it? We sent Principal Bian to the hospital, and reported her death to the Party secretary. As a Party member, I was supposed to tell students about the incident. Thereafter, in the morning of August 6, I spoke about the death of Principal Bian and reporting the Wu De through the schools broadcasting.


 Host:  I read an article by overseas writer Hu Ping, in which the whole broadcast script was included, consisting of about 100 odds characters.  It was my first time to read the script, and a surprise. I wondered where it was from. Did you draft the script before broadcasting it?

Liu Jin: No. This is my first time to hear it. After so many years, I don’t remember what I said, but definitely didn’t draft a script. About my speech, many students and teachers have different memories.  Students in same class, due to different background, also have different memories. I visited Teacher Mei Shumin in 2006. He recalled that at the time when doing physical work, he and vice Principal Liu Zhiping were listening to the broadcast which said that beating people would not be allowed, so they felt safe at heart. Some people recalled that I said that Bian was beaten to death the day before, and this was violation of the Party’s policy, and would not be allowed in the future. Some people recalled that I said that we had to keep the news confidential, in order not to spread influence.  Some students remember only a sentence; ‘Dead is dead’.


We didnt think it good to let the disorder continue. On August 8, I talked to some students, and said we could not let things to go on in this way, so wed better establish an organization. Most of these students were pro-work team, but some from class 4 of senior high grade 3 were anti-work team. Because no leadership was above us, the self-started organization was called Preparation Committee of Culture Revolution, or Prep. Committee in short. I became the director, with more than a dozen of vice directors, and a liaison person from each class. I think this was the direct result of the August 5 Incident.  


Host: Can we think this way:  Some students from class 3 of senior high grade 1 started and organized parading and denouncing the school leaders, but didnt tell you anything before that. ,


Liu Jin: Yes. Besides pointed out by the victims and witnesses, I verified with the teachers and students of class 3 of senior high grade 1. A student told me that a handful of students from the class started to seize the school leaders and subject them to public criticism. For convenience of discussion, I will call her as Student A from now on. She said the parade and denouncement were led by several students living in the compound on the west of the school, that was, the headquarters for navy, army and air force. They said in class that now the ‘Maoist red guards’ had become revolutionary, and Chairman Mao had called, so we had to do revolution, and denounce the gangsters, too. They gathered the school leaders, and moved them to the playground to be paraded and denounced.  At the time all classmates were sitting in the classroom, Students of poor family background were on one side. The leading student asked all students to go out and watch.  


Student A said that she attended the High School for Girls in her junior years, thus was very concerned for Principal Hu, and wanted to go out and look.  After all students went out, many students did beating, including one with poor family background. She beat Principal Hu, to show that she was revolutionary.  Principal Hu was always unyielding, thus was beaten the most. Student A particularly mentioned one of her classmates, whom many witnesses also mentioned, also did beating, but was not the hardest one. She was a well-known person at school, an excellent student before the culture revolution. Other people would remember her beating. Several hard beaters attended junior high in other schools. Students who attended junior high at the High School for Girl had love for teachers, and didn’t beat that hard. They did beat, by did it more lightly. Student A also said: ‘beating teachers was intolerable, but we could do nothing about it but watching.  After Principal Bian died, no one said anything.’,   


During the parading and denouncing, violent students were not only from class 3 of senior high grade 1, but also other classes of senior high grade 1 and some junior high grade 2 students. Several steps of that afternoon were: they were first paraded and denounced around the playground, then were forced to lift soil baskets in the small playground, at last were made to clean the toilets, continuing to be humiliated and tortured.  During the process, students from other grades also took part in the parading and detaining. But most students were standing in circle and watching, gathering and disbanding. They were witnesses of the violence.


Host: you dissuaded twice, but failed to stop the parading and denouncement. Is that because that they did it in the name of revolution, and took a more lofty moral position, so that your dissuasion lost power?


Liu Jin: At that time denouncing gangsters was revolutionary action, we could not stop them to parade and denounce the school leaders in the right and self-confident manner. And I was a person who had made mistakes, so could only said something like ‘don’t beat people, and  implement the policy.’  The development of things proved that what we said were totally useless.


Investigation in recent years indicates that many teachers and students of senior grades dissuaded the beaters. During the parade and denouncement, Principal Hu protested: I am not gangster.A tall student said: I am turning you to be one right now,and splashed a bottle of Chinese ink to Hu. A student of grade 5 came up immediately and stopped her: Please dont denounce gangsters in this way.A student tried to stop the physical punishment and beating, but was immediately refuted: we havent denounce gangsters for a long time. Whats wrong we denounce them today? The work team didnt allow us to denounce gangsters. Now the work team is gone. The gangsters are so vigorous. Whats wrong that we denounce them? Wang Yali and Li Lequn from class 4 of senior high grade 3 also dissuaded twice. The first time was near the toilet. Second time was on campus. But they left when the junior students were gone.  But they didnt realize that the teachers were moved to another place and continued to suffer torture. Some teachers talked to the students that the school leaders were too old and in poor health, so could not do such heavy physical labor. The weather was so hot. They would not stand it. They would suffer a lot. Some students dissuaded, too. 

The dissuasions were severely refuted immediately. The dissuaders were accused of protecting the work team, thus were not qualified to say anything. My classmates saw that teacher Mei Shumin was hit by a stick. Blood was immediately flowing from inside of his shirt. Teacher Mei also recalled that he wore a new shirt that day. The students beat his back with a nailed chair leg.  The nails got into his flesh, and covered with blood when pulled out.  The shirt was dyed bloody. Wang Nanfen, chair of student association before the culture revolution, and an anti-work team person, came to school late on August 6.  She didnt come to school on August 5, and was very shocked and angry when learning Principal Bian was beaten to death, and started to investigate the incident right away. I talked to her in 2006. She said some beaters had been confirmed. Most of them were students of senior high grade 1 and junior high grade 2. Many were showing off. The person who beat hard would have deep class feelings and better consciousness. She also said: My investigation shows that you student leaders were staying in East Building #2, and didnt take part in this incident.     


I learned during my investigation that two students from senior high grade 2 went to see Principal Hu on the morning of August 6. At the time Principal Hu was lying in bed with severe injuries, but was very happy to see them. In the same year, together with students from the 4th High School, they investigated the beatings in 36 high schools in the Western District, and wrote a report. Principal Hu offered great help to the investigation.

关于王先生出示的那个名单,我是从胡杰电影里第一次看到的。名单是竖着写的,右上是师大女附中,靠下并排写着李松文  徐岩春  李小琦  马恬  王满华  刘进  宋彬彬。后来,2008年在一个博客里再次看到,指控说凶手就在里面。有同学看见那个名单后,告诉我说是李松文老师写的字,他教过她们班几何,很熟悉他的字体。于是我去找李老师,希望得到他的帮助。我把那个复印的名单拿给他,请他回忆一下当时的情况。过了几天,李老师打电话约我见面,详细讲了名单产生的前因后果。*
I first time saw the name list that was in Mr. Wangs hand from the movie produced by Hu Jie.  The name list was written vertically.  At the right upper-hand corner were the characters High School for Girls. Below it were the names of Li Songwen, Xu Yanchun, Li Xiaoqi, Ma Tian, Wang Manhua, Liu Jin and Song Binbin were written side by side. Later in 2008 I saw the name list again in a blog which said the killer was in the list. A student saw the name list, and told me it was Teach Li Songwens handwriting. Li taught geometry to her class. She knew his handwriting well. Therefore, I went to see Teacher Li for help. I showed him a copy of the name list, and asked him to recall the circumstance. A few days later, Teacher Li called me by phone and invited me to see him.  In the meeting he talked about the name list in detail.


He said that he took his child to see doctor on August 5. It was nearly 6 oclock when he returned to school. Hearing something was wrong he ran to the back courtyard. Several students wouldnt let him in. He found Teacher Zhao Guiying and school doctor Liu. After arriving at the hospital, the doctor refused to rescue. The students and teachers argued with the hospital personnel. The doctor asked for an official document of the school, in order to start rescue. The time was very late then, where to get the official document and seal?  Teacher Li asked whether it was ok to sign their names?  The doctor said studentssignatures were no good, as they would leave school after graduation. But teachers signature was OK. Therefore, in a piece of paper, Teacher Li Songwen wrote vertically the Chinese characters The High School for Girls attached to Beijing Normal Universityand his name. Some teachers and many students were present, too. Signing name meant responsibility.  He asked several senior students whether it was OK to write down their names. We all said OK. He then wrote down the names of several students whom he knew. At that time he was teaching senior high grade 2. So there were on the list three students of senior high grade 2: Li Xiaoqi, Ma Tian and Wang Manhua.  Song Binbin, Xu Yanchun and I were from senior high grade 3.  


Teacher Li Songwen said: this name list was what I wrote for the doctors before the rescue started, but didnt know how it later fell into Mr. Wangs hand. It was possible that the hospital gave it to him. Li also said: that day when you showed me the name list, I was shocked when seeing my own handwriting. After going home and recalling carefully, this event came back to my mind. After Bian passed away, most people went home around 9 to 10 oclock. I didnt go to the Beijing Hotel.


Host: Many witnesses still remember names of the students who beat up people. My classmates saw that vice principal Liu Zhiping who was bald on the top of his head, was pasted a piece of ink-soaked paper on the top of his head. A student from senior high grade 1 ordered him to kneel down, and lift his hands as to surrender, and took pictures of him. Dean Mei, in his 30s, relatively young and strong, was ordered to carry soil in basket on his shoulders, and walked around a small playground, and returned the soil to its original place. Principal Hu cleaned the toilets near the playground. Many students remember, her white shirt was dyed black by ink. Her skirt was tore to thighs, and pink underpants were exposed. Without any tool, she had to dig out the dirty stuff from the toilet lids.  


Principal Bian was escorted to do cleaning in the dormitory building. When my classmates saw her, she was already not able stand steadily. A student from junior grade 2 pushed down her head, to force her to drink dirty water in a basin. The female student had dark skin and tall body. In 1967, once the school leaders were paraded around the playground, she pushed Principal Hu hard, and pressed her head down. Principal Hu wouldnt lower her head insistantly. I clearly remember this female students face and Principal Hus angry expression. The ways by which those students beat and humiliated the school leaders make ones hair stand up in anger.


Ye Weili: However, since the death of Principle Bian, no one has stood out to admit that she had beaten people. In a very long time I always have images of two students lingering in my mind. They were both of senior high grade 1. One had a big fat face. The other had a thin tall body. I remember them by one thing they did. After the beginning of the cultural revolution, one day the work team organized the students to visit the teachers dorms, to look at the life style of the bourgeoisie. When passing the home of Teacher Wang, our language teacher, she was not home. Her maid was holding her child standing outside. At that time my class was walking behind those two girls class. I saw they were spitting the child. I was feeling extremely bad. Even thought the mother was evil, what wrong did the child do? After the death of Principal Bian, I was told that these two students were among the beaters. At once I felt it very possible. As I recalled today, it was the silence of most people that encouraged them to do evils later.   


The violence of August 5 caused the death of Principal Bian, and inflicted severe mental and physical damages to other school leaders. I didnt expect such miserable consequences. After the incident, I felt extreme regret, as I didnt try my best to stop the violence. I felt very regrettable for Principal Bian, Principal Hu and other teachers. Dozens of years have passed, but the remorse and guilt in my heart have never weakened. This is why Song Binbin and I, after age of 60, have overcome many difficulties and persistently investigated the cause of events in the cultural revolution.


At the 40th anniversary of the cultural revolution, Ye Weili, Yu Ling and I went to see Mr. Wang with fresh flowers. I also went to see Teacher Mei several times. Once he asked me: where were you at when we were being denounced? Why did you not come to help me?I was very shocked by the questions. Later I wrote an earnest letter to Teacher Mei. After many times of communication, he at last opened his mind to me and talked about his experience on August 5.  He ask: Why did you not keep staying there? Why did you go away? If I had been your father, would you have left anyway? I said I regretted a lot, and would not have left if he had been my father. He said: you all were student Party members.  We trusted you most. Where were you at the most critical moment? I feel that teacher Mei questioned me on behalf of most of the teachers. I am very grateful for Teacher Meis criticism, and for that he told me that days situation and his experience.
Ye Weili: Four of us, you, Song Binbin, Yu Ling and I, went to see Teacher Mei. At the  door, I didt feel welcome by him. Generally, teachers were happy to see visiting students. But he was not. At the time I walked at the last. Song Binbin said: At that time we didnt do enough for teachers. Very sorry.Her voice was not loud, but I heard it. I was also deeply impressed by a sentence Teacher Mei said. He asked you (Liu Jin) and Song Binbin: Where were you at that time?He asked again and again, always talking on this topic. I was deeply impressed. You were his well-educated students, but didnt save him and other school leaders, which made him very sad. I am very glad the Liu Jin has communicated with Teacher Mei these years, exchanged points of views again and again, and listened to his opinions. 


Song Binbin: We went to see Teacher Mei the other day. I felt guilty when seeing his hair was completely white, and said sorry to him. That word was in my heart for a long time. We dissuaded and tried to stop the beating on August 5, but didnt expect the extreme results of the event. For last 40 years or so, when thinking that Principal Bian was beaten to death by students, and other school leaders suffered serious damages mentally and physically, I felt painful, guilty and remorse.  I would take this opportunity to apologize again.    


Ye Weili: On the question of how to evaluate the performance of Lin Jin and Song Bing and other backbone members of the congress of teachers and students on August 5.  After carefully thinking about it, I think the most important thing is to consider the incident on the large background at that time. It is necessary to keep the historical conditions in mind. Careful evaluation is needed. This is not an issue of black or white. The incident happened in early August when the situation was in great disorder.


Liu Jin and Song Binbin sent Principal Bian to the hospital, insisted the hospital to rescue, and left their names as warrantee, together with Teach Li Songwen. It was really not easy under the circumstance of that time. After the death of Bian Zhongyun, they went to report to higher authorities at night. This was an attitude of responsibility.  But there were two major problems: ineffective dissuasion and slow response. The ineffective dissuasion means during the parading and denouncing, they have interfered several times, but no problem was solved. In the situation of that time, it was impossible for them to question the reactionary actionof denouncing the school leaders, but only advised the beaters that denouncing is allowed, just dont beat them..


In his dictated memoir, Wu De said that when a cadre was surrounded and beaten by students, a rescuer talked to them: Beat me to death first before beat him to death. So the cadre was saved. This way of stopping beating with ones own life did not happen in most denouncement meetings, so it is not at all strange that it didnt in the High School for Girls. When encountered with the situation of August 5, even adults with rich political experience could not revert the situation, let alone high school students.  


Slow response means the slow rescue of Bian. Of course, judging by her condition when she fell down, it is very possible that there was no way to save her even she was sent to the hospital in time. But this is another issue. My investigation indicates that Bian fell down at about 4 pm, and was sent to nearby Hospital of Post and Communication at 7pm. Between these two points of time there were at least a delay of two hours. Why was there such a long delay?  I asked this question in my article by name of Bai Fang.  After the fall of work team, the congress of teachers and students was an organization with uncertain power, on the issue of preventing beating, in particular in the atmosphere of frenzy revolution, the congress was not confident, therefore not effective in dissuading and preventing. This is understandable. But when someone was beaten up to death, they were the only one that could come out to do it. No one else could.  But coming out after a delay of two hours, it was still a slow response.

I tend to believe Liu Jins statement that you took action immediately after hearing that Bian was dying in the garbage cart. But she lied in the backyard for two hours, why did you receive the information so late?  This question has always been in my mind. The long-time delay at lease reflected peoples fear, cowering and negligence for life.  At that time many people saw Principal Bians miserable status. The August 5 Incident is a great shame for the High School for Girls. The Principal was tortured to death by a handful of people, not the majority. But the majority will be criticized and condemned today, too. Even though you didnt beat but just watch, you were a spectator of the evil.   


Negligence of life is the problem of our generation. As a member of this generation, I am not accusing other people from outside or a higher point. It includes a deep blame of self. I feel ashamed when watching Hu Jie’s movie. When I met Mr. Wang Jinggui the first time, I wrote him a sentence: ‘I feel guilty as a student of the High School for Girls.’ This is from my heart.