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Yes, We Can!

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The following are dispatches from bloggers who attended the recently concluded Chinese Bloggers Conference in Guangzhou. Attendees at the conference included a broad range of bloggers who write on technology, business, culture, and a variety of other topics. CN Reviews blogged the conference and the presentations by many of the participants. Most of the discussions centered around technology, the Internet, culture and business. But inevitably a few bloggers turn their thoughts to more political topics, as these posts show:

In the concluding speech of the conference, Chinese blogger Yang Hengjun reflected on how the Internet has played a significant role in informing the public in China, and how blogging has renewed his life (excerpts translated by CDT’s Linjun Fan)
:

… I started writing my first blog in April 2007 when my mother was struggling with a severe illness and when my mind was deeply troubled. I haven’t been able to stop blogging since then. I’ve published a total of more than 700,000 words on the Internet in the past year and a half.

Some may say that I am crazy. I reply that I would have gone crazy if I didn’t write down what’s on my mind. I’ve been to many places and taken on various jobs. My jobs are mostly related to public administration, public service, and to the search for truth…I can’t emphasize more the significance of blogging to my life. It is a bridge that connects my past with my present, and with my future. It’s a bridge that connects me with my mother and my offspring. It’s a spiritual home I built for myself.

…Why do I say that blogging connects us with our mothers and our future? Just think about it for a moment: without blogging, how could we know where Yang Jia’s mother was? We would have no way to know her whereabouts because not a single newspaper would publish stories on her.

Without the help of the Internet, how could the mothers of the enslaved child laborers in the brick kilns of Shanxi find their children?

Without the Internet, the state-controlled mainstream media would fool us. They might make us believe that the more people died in the earthquake, the better it was, since “a nation would become stronger after the test of disasters.” They might have made us expect that the devastating earthquake would bring about a new China. Because of the Internet, we are able to tell that a new China has not been born out of the earthquake. Mothers who had lost their children to the earthquake were weeping alone at the school backpacks left behind by their kids

Without the Internet, how would the mother in Shenzhen expose the high-ranking official who harassed her 12-year-old daughter and reviled the family?

Without the Internet, we could never have believed that thousands of loving mothers had fed their babies with poisonous milk power, and helplessly watched their darlings struggling in pain, till they eventually left this world.

Thanks to the Internet, the suffering of the mothers aroused sympathy. Their outcry was echoed. And their tears were wiped away by us with the help of the connected computers. Because of the Internet, and because of blogging, we see a ray of hope, and we can’t help dreaming.

Dr. Martin Luther King claimed 45 years ago that “ I have a dream.” His dream was simply that his children could go to school together and play together with white children. He sacrificed his life for this dream. But it’s worthwhile, for  his dream has been realized in the United States today.

At the time that Dr. King’s dream came true, we suddenly realized that we once had dreams as well. In the year of 2009, will we remember our old dreams? Sixty years ago, we dreamed that “the Chinese people have finally stood up”; twenty years ago,  we dreamed that…. Let’s rekindle our dreams again!

Dr. King had only one dream, but I have many. Some of them might sound laughable. Some might make people feel like crying … So I won’t tell you about them today. But I know that many friends share the same dreams with me.

Although I don’t talk about them today, it doesn’t mean that I have given up on the dreams. We can never make dreams come true if we don’t have any. As long as we have dreams, we won’t lose hope. With hope we can say, Yes, we can make a difference.

 Yes, we can!

Our ancestors had various dreams of their own in the long history of the Chinese people. They could only bury them deep in their heart, however. Now the Internet and blogging have come to us. I will continue to talk about my dreams on my blog, carefully nurture them, and share them with you……

That’s all I want to say to you today. I hope I will see you again next year at the conference, or on the Internet, or in the blogosphere. I hope we can meet again in our dreams, meet again in the future, a future we create together.

Yes, we can!


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