Friday, April 13, 2007
Reminder: The Power of One
Ya'll may have already heard about this but it tickles me to no end. Wu Ping, who lives in Chongquing, China, remains steadfast in her resolve not to give up her home despite aggressive business/political intimidation to relocate. And so, developers have been left with no choice but to start construction on their large-scale project, quite literally, AROUND her home.
See that little box in the middle of the pit? That's where Wu lives, or used to. They won't let her inside so she occasionally stands outside the gates of the construction site and crowds gather to hear her story. She's become a cause-celeb for millions who have faced the same situation with no success.
Locals refer to it as "the nail house", a reference to Wu's tenacity. Apparently, uprooting citizens has long been standard practice in China. If citizens protest, authorities simply beat them up or raze the home while they are at work. Wu won't stand for it, however, and has single-handedly stirred the debate in a country that is suddenly awash in new media and, at the same time, trying to scrub up its global image for the Olympics.
In the end, the home will probably be demolished and Wu will move somewhere else but her bravery is a timely reminder that sometimes, it only takes one citizen (Rosa Parks? Gandhi? Unknown Rebel of Tienanmen Square?) to stand up and say: "This is wrong."