China Has its Revolutionaries Too

And they use the internet.

An example is this web video, created in China.  It is framed as a parable, but as you can see from this analysis at China Geeks it is really about recent incidents that have outraged the Chinese public. The video, now on Youtube, was first posted on Tudou, a Chinese video site, but has been taken down.


Here’s the start of China Geeks’ analysis at via “Little Rabbit, Be Good” A Subversive New Years’ Video Card:

This video has been being passed around today on Twitter, Weibo, and other Chinese social networking sites. Most of my Chinese friends have seen it, although they almost all also work in media. Still, it’s fair to say the video is pretty widespread.

Regardless of what the disclaimer says8, it is probably obvious even to those who don’t speak Chinese that this video makes repeated and explicit reference to real life events. The milk powder death, the fire, the illegal demolitions, the beating of protesters, the self-immolation, the “Tiger Gang” car accident, etc. are all references to real-life events that any Chinese viewer would be immediately and intimately familiar with.

Of course, sarcastic animations and other web jokes about these incidents are common. What is not common is the end of the video, which depicts a rabbit rebellion where masses of rabbits storm the castle of the tigers and eat them alive. For viewers who have already gathered that in this picture, rabbits represent ordinary Chinese people and the tigers represent the government/the powerful, this is a revolutionary–literally–statement. The clip ends with what seems almost like a call to arms for the new year, with Kuang Kuang saying it will be a meaningful (有意义, could also be translated as “important”) year and then the end title reading: “The year of the rabbit has come. Even rabbits bite when they’re pushed.”

This isn’t the bullshit so-called “inciting to subvert state power” that Liu Xiaobo was given eleven years for. This video is actually inciting people to subvert state power.

This is, by the way, the year of the Rabbit in the Chinese Zodiac.

Update: boingboing, How China censors Egypt news, and why the story is so sensitive in China sends you to Global Voices Advocacy, China: Bridging news on Egypt. This begins:

On 28 of January, when commenting on the political situation in Egypt, the spoke person from Chinese foreign ministry stated that the Chinese government will continue to support the Egyptian government in maintaining social stability and oppose any foreign intervention in Egypt. Since then, the term “Egypt” has been blocked from search in major social media websites, such as Sina and Sohu micro-blog hosting sites.

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One Response to China Has its Revolutionaries Too

  1. Anon says:

    Thanks for posting this. I think that necessary political change will come when people around the world start realizing that the real issue is not “state versus market”, but “unaccountable wealthy & powerful elite” versus ordinary people. This video, while gruesome, is a step toward that kind of consciousness.

    Everyone realizes that the “party” in China is a public-private partnership: old bureaucrats arrange for extremely lucrative business positions for their sons and other family members. While the media endlessly discusses a US – China conflict, it should be evident that there is a relatively unified American/Chinese business elite getting rich from the devaluation of China’s currency, destruction of its environment, low wages there, and the gradual hollowing out of the American industrial base. Social problems both here and there arise from the conflict between elites the can never have too much and a mass too distracted (here) and brutalized (there) to demand its fair share. The further this trend goes the less likely a peaceful solution will emerge.

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