Li Wenliang’s Wailing Wall, September 2022: “How to Voice This Desolation?”

Two years and four months after the complainant Dr. Li Wenliangdeath from COVID-19, the “Wailing Wall“, which emerged in the comments of his last Weibo post, continues to serve as a repository for the hopes, dreams, concerns and opinions of countless Chinese citizens. CDT editors regularly collect and archive Contents of the Wailing Wallincluding the selection of comments translated below.

In September, many Wailing Wall comments made reference to current events such as the fatal one Bus accident in Guizhou province kills 27, injures 20; the death of Queen Elizabeth II; the protests in Iran; and pandemic lockdowns or restrictions in several Chinese cities.

The Guizhou bus crash, which occurred in the early morning hours of September 18, was particularly upsetting to many because the 47 passengers transported to a faraway quarantine facility were not even COVID patients , but “close contacts” of patients with COVID. Some netizens suspected that officials in Guizhou’s provincial capital Guiyang, under pressure from higher-level authorities to quell outbreaks of COVID ahead of the 20th CCP Party Congress in October, were trying to “game the statistics ” transporting potentially infected people to places outside their city. . Online commentators pointed to the preventability of the accident, criticized the state media’s silence and online censorship of the story, and commemorated the victims with words and artwork including the image below. Some Weibo users noted that the accident took place on China’s National Day of Humiliation, which refers to the start of the Japanese invasion of China in 1931, and suggested that it give a new layer of meaning to the name of the day.

The following Wailing Wall comments, selected and translated by CDT editors, were originally published during the week of September 17-22, 2022:

雨虎2010_THU:Dr. Li, have you met the 27 people in Guizhou who died? That day I cried for a long time in silence.

韬光弻菲:Dr. Li, I’m back again. I finally understand why Iris Chang he committed suicide after writing his book. Yesterday and today, I couldn’t tear myself away from the suffering of those 27 people and the human misery in Tibet and Xinjiang. I feel a depression coming on, because there seems to be no solution to all this suffering. I used to believe in this country. I thought they would not allow the common people to suffer, because they loved the common people, but now, it is the common people who are paying the price for their actions. I have sunk in, and I no longer see the point of living. // Bloodwitch585: My faith is slowly crumbling.

舞袖长夏:I am terrified. We are all on this bus. // Yiwwwwwwwww: Each of us is a passenger.

兔军临天下:They are always experimenting with the Chinese people, and never take responsibility for it. Each of these experiments lasts a decade or more. How many experiments have they done in the last 70 years? Formulas differ, distorted results vary, but the only constant is their monopoly on power!

上明名字全线设叫什么:We are all on this bus, but the main culprit only offered an apology, as if an apology could prevent such tragedies from happening again. The pilot was wrong, the navigator was wrong, but all they offered was a measly apology.

微微的血精灵:Dr. Li, the overturned bus accident in Guizhou occupies only a small place in the lower right corner of page eight of today’s village newspaper.

A screenshot shows a small piece of information about the bus crash circled in red in the lower right corner of page eight of the People’s Daily newspaper.

邹悦-墨尘:Dr. Li, I sincerely hope that the Iranian people can fight and win their rightful freedom and happiness. I never expected them to be so brave, unlike us, we have submitted to a few [PPE-clad] “great whites”, and that they only have your latest Weibo post as our Wall of Wailing…

天命登前途:They limit the freedom of the people in the name of protecting the people.

江东小锦鲤:After you left us, those of us who survived did not make the world a better place, nor did we take advantage of your strength to protect our compatriots. We should be ashamed.

鲜花下牛天:Dr. Li, it is Monday, September 19, 2022, and this is my 24th day visiting you. Queen Elizabeth II is being laid to rest today and mourners queued for dozens of hours just to bow before her coffin, make the sign of the cross and fold their hands in prayer. There is a monument to the late Queen in Westminster Abbey, and there is a monument to you in my heart. From now on, I want to come here every day to “clock in” and record the days of our “togetherness”. Number 24.

哈勃ddg: Dr. Li, I saw the Jiabiangou [1950s labor camp] documentary recently, and I have a feeling that we are already in Jiabiangou or on the way to Jiabiangou. This country is terrifying.

Rice No No:— Good morning, Dr. Li. We are all on the same bus. We did not resist their illegal and unauthorized use of public power to violently break into private residences, kill pets and damage private property, or forcibly detain or quarantine us in the name of an “infection potential”. We do not have the freedom to move, the freedom to work, the freedom to live or the freedom to speak. We have no right to be free from the fear of the unknown. And forget about saying “May the dead rest in peace”; how can they rest in peace

兔子雨林110:September 18, 27 dead, a Day of National Humiliation: How to express this desolation? (The last part is a line of Su Shi, poet of the Song Dynasty/Su Dongpo.) [Chinese]

The wall of lament comments below are from the week of September 10-16, 2022:

邹悦-墨尘:Dr. Li, “dynamic cleaning” has become a national policy. Did you ever think this day would come? As someone who had the courage to speak up, as a determined whistleblower, what do you think of our docility?

You should go back and check out this world. It’s really sad…

Photo of a man painting a question in red characters on a white wall: “Will this world ever get better?” Below that, someone has added a note in black characters that reads, “Official Announcement Coming.”

Montelena: Dr. Li, I just saw elderly people from the Tibetan areas being transported in an improvised manner. fangcang quarantine hospitals with extremely poor conditions. They were limping, some couldn’t even straighten their backs. They always talk about it [protecting] old people and children, and then this is what they do? I am so bitter and so helpless.

白與川_: Dr. Li, I saw that the WHO issued a statement today saying that the pandemic is ending, but looking around, it feels like it’s been a long time. [pandemic prevention and control] “Chain” has already taken shape.

Thinking of God while peeling potatoes: Freedom is like air: you are only aware of its existence when you are suffocating. [Chinese]

CDT Wailing Wall Archive and selections here, compiled by Tony Hu.

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