"My Dad Is Li Gang" incident: Ai Weiwei produces video interview of Chen Xiaofeng's brother and father
Posted by Alice Xin Liu on Friday, October 29, 2010 at 4:50 PM
On Tudou, a video called "This Is Reality" (事实就是这样) has been repeatedly deleted and uploaded: the father and brother of Chen Xiaofeng (陈晓凤), who died after being hit by a car driven by Li Qiming on the Hebei University campus, were interviewed by Wen Tao and Zhao Zhao for a video released by Ai Weiwei's team. You can also view this video on Youtube.
The beginning of the video runs an explanation:
Li Gang is the deputy director of the PSB in Baoding's Beishi District (北市区). Although fellow video site Youku does not have the video, the site does have a page dedicated to the "Li Gang incident" which includes mention of the 70 kph incident from April 2010, which made the current incident more popular because of their similarities. Also on the page are various videos from TV that show Li Gang and his son Li Qiming apologizing on national TV. As they have been accused for putting on a 'show,' commenters on Ai Weiwei's video suggest that this one, with the parent and sibling of the deceased crying, should be broadcast on national TV too.
The interview starts with the father Chen Guangqian (陈广谦), and then the brother Chen Lin (陈林):
Chen Guangqian: My name is Chen Guangqian, I come from Nansi village in Xingjishi, Shijiazhuang city in Hebei province, My daughter is called Chen Xiaofeng, 20 years old, she grew up in the rural village.
Chen Lin: My name is Chen Li. I am 23 this year, I come from Nansi village in Xingjishi, Shijiazhuang city in Hebei province. My sister is called Chen Xiaofeng, she's 20 this year and born year of the horse; in 1990. She just got into university, she enrolled on September 2. On that day I went to Baoding to take care of some university business, when I came back I saw her once, and left the next day. The accident happened that night. Her classmate called the house. We couldn’t believe it.
Chen Guangqian: After the incident happened, [people from] the township called us at home. At the time I didn’t think it was so serious, I thought it was just a scratch, but after arriving at the emergency room, there wasn’t much hope left.
Chen Lin: When I hurried there, my sister was in the emergency room. I heard about the incident here and there.
Interviewer: Why the did the perpetrator say, “My dad is Li Gang?”
Chen Lin: Because he was showing off or it was just something that he did. It’s relying on the power of his family; he said it subconsciously. Lots of people are like this now, I think he’s using it as a kind of backup, I don’t think it was because he was afraid, it was just subconscious: this is who my family is are, you can’t do this and this to me.
Chen Guangqian: I don’t know what the inside story is, I know that he’s in certain circles, that he’ll have lots of connections within Baoding.
Interviewer: So are you afraid?
Chen Guangqian: I am… I am afraid.
Chen Lin: Didn’t he say that [his dad] is the deputy director of the PSB of Beishi District? Speaking as the weaker party, anyone higher up has more power.
Chen Guangqian: We don’t have any connections; we won’t be able to just find anyone we want. It’s also hard us to find evidence and information.
Chen Lin: A person who is alive, including my sister, what she was like as a person, I think I know best. We’re often bickering, but when something happens she would actively ask how I am doing, actively have my best interests in mind, as a younger sister she would constantly look after her elder brother. People in the village are also always say that she never needed her family to worry about her. When she changed primary schools, I remember this vividly, she changed schools herself. When she changed primary schools successfully, she only asked her family for textbook fees, but everything else she did herself. She has never let her family worry about her at all.
Chen Guangqian: I think it’s a big shame that this happened to my daughter. We met [with Li Gang etc] and they apologized sincerely, and told us to take care of ourselves. And said that no one wanted something like this to happen; their attitude was sincere.
Chen Lin: First of all, I don’t accept the apology. It’s not something that can be solved by an apology. And they hope for a negotiation, it’s not something that I want. It’s not as if that the State does what I tell them to. But there can be some justice in the verdict, I know though I don’t study the law. But I understand a little bit. First of all, the way of getting a verdict is different. Perhaps purely because of a traffic [accident] he might get seven years, but from another point of view, he should get the death sentence. In this process I won’t deny that I’ve thought about them using their abilities to change the verdict. If it was me, if this happened to my kid, then it’s a problem caused by my way of educating them or my family, including spoiling him … I am not opposed to spoiling in society, but when something bad does happen, then you should ask them to think about it, not lessen their pressure, not help them to escape, if they’re wrong they’re wrong. This is something caused by your family. In society they say everyone is equal, but in every corner there is inequality. I hope that experts from different fields will help argue the case, that it’s not just simply a traffic accident.
Chen Guangqian: This kind of thing shouldn’t happen in a university, this shouldn’t happen when it’s the activity time for the university, it’s a time when they’re doing exercise so I feel… very shocked. I think that the perpetrator was being very irresponsible about life, and does not care about the consequences for ordinary people and for students.
Chen Lin: Because we are ordinary people the country side, I hope to call on everyone in society, including those with the law, to come out and stand by our side. I believe in justice, and believe that they can give my sister Xiaofeng a reasonable explanation. Here I want to represent myself, and my sister, I believe we think alike, to call on society and everyone, with the help of the law, it’s not that I’m scared of how powerful the opposition is, but I need to get some kind of justification for my sister. I hope that the university, and her male and female elder classmates will come out and support their classmate who is younger than you.
Chen Guangqian: I hope we reach a satisfactory solution, and that something like this won’t happen again, and that students from all fields will come over and see her. To call on society for a safe environment for students to study at university.
Chen Lin: I hope that bodies that have power, or the Hebei University, which is administrative, will reflect on it, as myself and as someone like my sister, and as all students, not even having security in their own environment, their home, how can you live in this country and this society without any worry? I feel like there should be deep reflection on this. This is the reality, this is the reality…
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