Sohu censors Taiwan protest - 四面楚歌 or 风声鹤唳?

While casually looking at my referral site stats, I found this sohu-hosted blog (thanks for the link). It is all about music and culture, pretty innocent citizen who would never draw attention from the internet police, one would think?

IT's a slow weekend, I looked at the referring stats again a few hours later, I found one of his posts deleted by his blog host, Sohu. What was that post about? As I can recall, He embedded the ETTV music of the Red Protest in Taipei (on youtube) which I also blogged previously, "圍城之歌 Song of Siege (See lyric here)". I do not recall he said anything on his blog other than "I liked this music." and "Taiwanese are quite humorous people" and a reference to the Chinese proverb "四面楚歌 Surrounded by Songs from Home Province"(comparing this song about Chen's palace being surrounded by protestors to the historic story of Xiang Yu's army being surrounded while enemy singing the songs to make them homesick and destroy the morale of Xiang's army - of 200 BC). Just no one would ever think of anything that could deserve any censorship.

What about the song? You can see the picture in Youtube. Just a lot of demonstrators in red. The ROC flag was forbidden explicitly by the protest organizers to avoid the Blue-Green dichotomy allegation.

The lyric? nothing that could stir up the censor's as far as I can see. I translated it roughly below. Note also Premier Wen Jiabao said Taiwanese people should solve the problem among themselves (这是应该由台湾人自己解决的问题). and Wang Zaixi went on step further in calling this is Taiwan people's rights and freedom 王在希指出,倒扁在台湾同胞当中已形成了广泛的共识,台湾的人民公开地表达反对他的政府贪污、舞弊的行为,是正义的,这也是台湾人民拥有的权力,也是他们享有的自由.
  • 下台下台下台,step down x 3
    公元兩千年 歷史大轉變 in 2000 AD, change in course of history
    新的總統 陳水扁 欺騙全世界 new president, chen shui bain, deceived the world
    曾經的希望 如今都破滅 the hope of the past, all vanished today
    美麗寶島 看不見 痛苦不能言 beautiful island can be seen no more, so painful we are unable to talk

    不要怕 伸出指尖 一起來倒扁 don't be afraid, show your fingertips, depose Bian together
    歷史 見證一切 history, witness all
    大家一起 心手相連 let's together, hands and hearts joined
    倒扁才能展笑顏 only able to show our laughing face if Bian deposed

    不要怕 伸出指尖 一起來倒扁 don't be afraid, show your fingertips, depose Bian together
    歷史 即將改寫 history, will soon be re-written
    大家一起 肩併著肩 we together, should by should
    一擊推翻阿扁 one strike and overturn Bian
I scrathed my head trying to understand what went through the mind of the Sohu police. They must be psychics, able to read something we couldn't.

So perhaps Ming Pao is right after all. So was my innocent comment in my previous post ("...this is a good lesson for those in power on the other side of the Strait.")

Or, maybe, "四面楚歌" has described (or revealed the state secret of) the precise situation of these desperate internet police? I thought the word should have been 风声鹤唳.

Update: The blogger re-posted the video, citing CCTV already showed exactly the same video in braodcast TV. Let's see if the video got removed again, and that the Sohu busybody was overenthusiastic or it was due to some other more generic directive from above (e.g. against Youtube, or against this particular event)

Ming Pao commentary here
中國評論﹕台北圍城 震撼大陸 (2006-09-17 05:05:00)


與倒扁靜坐行動連發 4稿不同,新華社前日對圍城行動隻字未提,不過,大陸民眾還是通過各種渠道,獲悉這一令許多台灣人流下熱淚的壯舉。對於台灣人可以自由地表達自己的政治訴求、可以大聲地要求陳水扁總統下台,大陸人既欽佩又羨慕。過去,台灣的民主政治,予許多大陸人的印象就是議會中的暴力、藍綠群眾的衝突與攻訐。然而,百萬台灣人的圍城大遊行,令大陸民眾的印象完全扭轉﹔對台灣民眾表現出來的民主素養,許多大陸人表示感動與敬佩。對於台灣人的遊行、集會、言論等政治自由,大陸人發出「台灣人可以倒扁,我們可以倒什麼」的感慨,流露出既羨慕又無奈的情感。大陸人為什麼會徒嘆無奈,從他們「可憐」陳水扁、「哀嘆」扁「生不逢地」、「不如我們一個副局長」就可見一斑。

百萬台灣人圍城大遊行和平、理性進行,堪比 03年 50萬香港人大遊行,均可寫入世界民主史冊。不過,如果據此就斷言台灣民主制度已經成熟,也為時過早。由民進黨前主席施明德發起的百萬台灣人倒扁行動,展開尚不到 10天,能否達至「阿扁下台」的目標撇開不說,本周在南部陳水扁老巢開展的倒扁行動,聲勢如何、是否會觸發衝突,尚待考驗。昨日親綠台灣社發起的挺扁行動,倒扁與挺扁群眾發生的小衝突,已經敲響了警鐘。至於挺扁民眾佔據電視直播台、追打紅衣人的舉動,亦顯示仍有許多台灣人依然停留在由民粹、統獨意識支配自己行動的階段,尚不可語「我不贊成你的觀點,但誓死捍衛你的言論自由」。年底台北、高雄市長選舉,尤其是 08年總統大選,善打選舉戰的民進黨又會使出什麼計謀,在政權爭奪下是否還能如圍城行動那樣超越藍綠投出寶貴一票,這都需拭目以待。



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