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The Death of Lake Tai: China Treats Environmentalists as a Bigger Threat Than Pollution

Environment  (tags: Lake Tai, China, environmentalism, pollution, dissidence in China )

- 3874 days ago -
Dramatic story of one man's crusade to save Lake Tai, central to China's "land of fish and rice." Inatead of working to save the lake, Chinses officials jailed the man trying to keep it ecologically viable.

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RC deWinter (418)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 3:49 am
After coercing a "confession" from Wu Lihong, this envrionmental activist was sentenced to three years in jail for attempting to convince Chinese authroities that this lake, once a thriving and vibrant ecosystem, was dying from floods of industrial and agricultural waste. Since then, officials are tring to revive the lake - but is it too late? And Wu Lihong still sits in jail for the crime of alerting his country to the water problems in the "land of fish and rice."

RC deWinter (418)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 3:52 am
See also the NY Times series
Choklng on Growth: A series of articles and multimedia examining the China’s pollution crisis."

Judy L (114)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 4:20 am
Noted. My eyes are still too sleepy to read the NY Times series. But, what a terrible injustice for Wu Lihong, for simply trying to do the right thing for the ecosystem of his country. As always, thanks, Cate.

Mari 's (1356)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 4:45 am
Is there a Petition made for poor Wu Lihong? This is just horrible! He should not only be released but also awarded damages for pain and suffering. There is no reason this poor man should be sitting in jail. Wu Lihong is not a criminal he's a Hero for Gods sake!

Past Member (0)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 4:46 am
gee, why does this not surprise me?????... thanks cate...noted...;)

Alf I (246)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 5:05 am
This is not an isolated case. It is also happening on our own doorstep. Jeffrey Luers, the SHAC7 in the US the SHAC3 in UK are all imprisoned unjustly for speaking out against corporations. Fascism is rife!!

Dolores H (2)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 5:27 am

Charlene S (126)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 5:32 am
This is so sad.........BUT............this could happen to any American under the Bush administration!!!!!!!! Watch your backs!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stephen Hannon (203)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 6:05 am
Noted, thanks Cate

Past Member (0)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 6:07 am
Noted, thanks Cate. I agree with Alf and Charly. No one is safe, and speech is not free, even here in our good ole USA!

Margaret B (164)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 6:50 am
Color me not surprised! Noted

Joycey B (750)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 6:51 am
Angrily noted. Thanks Cate.

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 7:37 am
I too agree with Alf and Charly. Fascism puts limits on Freedom of Speech. Fascism is creeping up on us in the U.S. and we go on thinking "It can't happen here".
See Naomi Wolf's recently-published book, "The End of America: Letters of Warning to a Young Patriot".

Free Speech on Environmental issues is at GRAVE RISK all over the world. The Corporations don't like to be interfered with! Latin America is another egregious example. Wu Lihong is lucky to be ALIVE. In other countries, he would be executed, judicially or extra-judicially. The record of oil companies in Africa is not so great, either. They have had environmental dissidents framed and HANGED.

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 7:54 am
The evidence against Mr. Wu consisted mainly of written testimony and his own confession. The judges rejected a request by Mr. Wu’s lawyer to summon prosecution witnesses for cross-examination.

Mr. Wu told the judges in open court that the police had deprived him of food and forced him to stay awake for five days and five nights in succession, relenting only when he signed a written confession. He said that the confession was coerced and that he was innocent. The judges ruled that since Mr. Wu could not prove that he had been tortured, his confession remained valid.

Mr. Wu lost his temper. “Since I was a child I have never broken the law,” he shouted.


Carolyn T (234)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 9:34 am
Noted. Oh, yes "this man is a danger, all right---to the polluters and the government who want him to hush!"
A horrible price to pay for trying to protect the earth and its inhabitants. I so desperately, desperately want to pull the next Olympics from China that I can barely speak of it, and reports of this type of malicious, inhumane detention just inflame me more. Thanks for bring it to our attention, Cate.

Ben O (171)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 10:21 am
I agree with all of You and am repeating my mantra:
Boycott The 2008 Beijing Olympics!
Free Tibet!
Respect Human Rights!

Francois A (331)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 10:39 am
Open letter to Chinese authorities:
Is this the way you concieve to serve the people? Do you really think to have served your nation by jailing WU for taking the defense of your inheritance? I am sure you know well that this is not a service but a harm to your own Nation... So just tell me why you do such things? Would you really allow something else than the truth to determine your acts?

Tsandi Crew (95)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 10:51 am
Paranoia. Ignorance. Bad Chinese Authorities.

So much paranoia and ignorance wears me out.

Mary H (47)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 11:23 am
Noted -- not surprised but very disgusted!

Evelyn J (0)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 11:54 am
And this is the country US manufacturers use for growing and making quality products to sell in America!!!

Blacktiger P (247)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 12:18 pm
Is there no way to impress upon the Olympic Committee what is going on over there? Noted, and more angry.

Martin K (80)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 12:24 pm
Yes Evelyn, we exported our manufacturing to China, our country is more toxic then theirs. Another way of killing with toxic chemicals and poisons in another country. We are trying to do away with millions of people and we are succedeing. They are now a part of the Marxist new world order espoused by all secret organizations from around the world.

Elle J (276)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 12:28 pm
Noted! I have no respect for China whatsoever. Here is a man trying to save the country and he is rewarded by being jailed. We need to stop importing from China and stop outsourcing jobs to them. They are nothing but trouble. Oh wait, that's right, China owns a big portion of the USA thanks to this administration. It seems that Bush & Co. have doomed us to debt. I would never want to visit China for any reason and why they have the 2008 Olympics is beyond me. Their Human Rights record is terrible.

Dave Kane (308)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 12:40 pm
The truth may set you free spiritually, but it also can get your ass locked up indefinitely. Or worse. True that this is occurring in many places, in many ways.

I was kinda surprised to hear the Global Warming deniers come out in such force after Gore's Nobel win, even though I expected it pushback, I didn't expect it to be so widespread. Great gauge of the corporations' abilities to respond rapidly, and widely to any perceived threat to their controlling positions and bottom lines.

Remember people -- We Are The Real Power Behind The Governments of this world. Only we can change their courses, and we are the ones that feed their coffers.

Past Member (0)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 2:09 pm
Noted/thanks Cate

Past Member (0)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 2:54 pm
When will the world act as the US does and try to sort right from wrong......

Yvonne White (229)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 5:08 pm
Sounds just like Bu$h'$ America to me!

Past Member (0)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 6:14 pm
Right. How do you say "eco-terrorist" in Chinese? I think the Bush definition of eco-terrorist is somebody who "attempts" to interfere with corporate profits (by trying to protect animals or the environment from corporate degradation). You don't have to actually cost the corporations a dime to be thrown in Gitmo, you just have to hold up a sign saying you'd like people to boycott them. Signs like that apparently "terrorize" multi-billionaire corporate CEOs. China certainly isn't going to let the U.S. corner the market on a growth industry like imprisoning environmentalists. Just think how many of us there are and how much money they can make imprisoning us all. This is really sad. I hope Amnesty International or some other large organization gets up a petition and campaign for Mr. Wu. Maybe if enough world-wide attention is focused on it, we can not only pressure the Chinese government to free him, but also to clean up the lake.


Jennie B (14)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 6:49 pm
What does the Olympics which is about sports have to do with what China does? I do not believe they will change a thing they don't want to change. This is a totalitarian society w/complete control from birth to grave over their people. They aren't likely to change anything and don't hold your breath on the Olympic Committee doing anything about this-there's too much money involved and too much the Olympics stands for by itself-sports, sports, sports...noted.

RosemaryRannes HusbandNeedsPrayers (650)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 10:39 pm


Denice G (45)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 10:39 pm
Noted Thanks

RosemaryRannes HusbandNeedsPrayers (650)
Sunday October 14, 2007, 10:48 pm
Many Metta's for all.

nurith k (93)
Monday October 15, 2007, 1:18 am
well what do you expect from a country like china, they are barbarians without culture, otherwise they wouldn't treat their enviroment, their animals different and wouldn't wipe tibet from the map, would they??? go to google earth and try to find tibet on it, you will not, just china, no tibet, they are making a genocide to the tibetan people and the world still doesn't care, and it is Not an interference to china's inside matters, tibet is a country of it's own, damn the chinese for ever and boycott everything from china, EVERYTHING!!!!!

Anja M (81)
Monday October 15, 2007, 2:38 am
NOTED, thank you Cate. This is a very important issue.

. (0)
Monday October 15, 2007, 6:22 am
Noted with blessings and prayers sent to Wu Lihong for his safety. A complete boycott of everything from China would not only tell China what the citizens of the world think about them but also send a strong message to our own governments that we expect them to stand up and fight these terrible injustices.

Mhel Manato (269)
Monday October 15, 2007, 7:31 am
YES, we need to send blessing and prayers

Liz De Witt (53)
Monday October 15, 2007, 7:42 am
As much as we may think we don't have many civil liberties left. At least in this country (USA), you can speak out on ecological sound issues without being put in prison.

Eduardo L (101)
Monday October 15, 2007, 7:53 am
I agree with BMutiny and Mark, who gave excellent analysis of the situation in China and U.S. I really hope that Amnesty International can do something to help Mr. Wu.

Monica Rega (96)
Monday October 15, 2007, 12:01 pm
We as americans SHOULD boycott China.. I've said it before and I'll say it again and again and again. Until China can get there act together BOYCOTT CHINA!!!!. We here in America can make our own stuff we don't need china's products! we can make toys, and cars, and boats and all electronic devices. We can do this .. we need to BOYCOTT CHINA!!! FREE Wu Lihong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Violette Ruffley (92)
Monday October 15, 2007, 12:01 pm
Noted, so sad when one must suffer for performing an effort to improve the environment.

Donald Cordell (8)
Monday October 15, 2007, 5:08 pm
Unless any of you are planning to become Chinese citizens, buy American.

Pamela R (159)
Monday October 15, 2007, 6:16 pm
Aren't the olympics meant to bring harmony and enrichment, to aid tolerance and to shed light on other's plights, to aid in the integration and understanding of other's?
Aren't the olympics meant to bring athletes from the world's stage together to share in their achievements? Regardless of the atrocities the Chinese GOVERNMENT (not the people, in general) has partaken in, I think
we should allow the visitors from many countries to see first hand, to report about, to communicate with the citizens, to allow for the many newscasters from around the world to bring the WORLD up to date on the
present situation in China? Read about the 1980 boycott:
I am so sorry that Mr. Wu Lihong had to endure this travesty of justice. But..... I'm certain he has made a huge difference!
I have to state, too, that China's government may be "barbaric", but their society is older than ours and rich and diverse in history. Many of the world's inhabitants think Americans to be barbaric!

David Cromie (6)
Monday October 15, 2007, 6:37 pm
'...Britain, the United States and Japan polluted their way to prosperity and worried about environmental damage only after their economies matured and their urban middle classes demanded blue skies and safe drinking water.

I can understand the Chinese position when one remembers the refusal of BushCo to do anything on a Federal level to curb the domestic level of US pollution. Global capitalism is the real culprit, with its mantra of 'the market', and 'unlimited growth', which enriches the few at the expense of the many. But pollution is no respector of persons!

Pollution is the concommitant outcome of this insane economic philosophy. So far, the vast majority of the Chinese people have not yet realised that they have a human right to clean air, both for themselves and their children. Let us hope that the whole world will wake up to the dangers before it is too late, and especially the wasteful, greedy consumers of the West, who should be giving a lead.

It should be remembered that many US companies are also contributing to the production of Chinese pollution, while at home greenhouse gasses are billowing from motor vehicles, with hardly a curb, while in China about 1,000 new cars take to the streets every week - the American Dream has become the Chinese Dream, and who are the hypocritical West to say them nay? It is so easy to blame the foreigner, in this, as in so many other respects!

serge vrabec (278)
Monday October 15, 2007, 11:40 pm
Great commentary, thx to all. Thx Cate.
They should give him a medal not a jail cell. The environment should be the #1concern for all right now. We are not seperate countries, just one world.

Maria Carlin (3)
Tuesday October 16, 2007, 4:10 am
The trouble is, that the Olympics is really not about sport anymore, its about the country that is holding it to outdo any country that previously held the Olympics...its about money and to suggest that not to boycott the chinese Olympics to allow the world to enter and see the truth about China, you have to be kidding, outsiders will only get to see what the chinese government want them to see. If any of you have seen 'China's Stolen Children'...that will give you more insight to a country that is so cruel to their fellow humans. They have scans to find out what sex their child is going to be, since the start of 1 child per couple 30 years ago over 40 million females have been aborted, now there is a shortage of females,but their old culture believes that having a son to look after them in old age, is still there. If you don't have a birth permit and have a child that child becomes a 'non person' and the couple sell the child, where that child goes or to whom l dread to think and yet the UN allows that to happen. Where are the rights for the chinese people, its seems they don't have any. Bless you all.

Tim Redfern (581)
Tuesday October 16, 2007, 3:35 pm
This is only a small part of why I
will not watch one minute of the
Olympics next year, AND I will boycott
every sponsor of the games!
Freedom and Justice for Tibet and Burma!

Thanks, Cate.

Teresa del Castillo (1519)
Saturday November 17, 2007, 3:40 pm
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