Do you know why a 17-year-old boy can rattle Beijing? Because the force of truth flows behind his words. Because his cause is just, so he can rally the public. Because when he speaks, he gives voice to an entire generation that believes in democracy and universal suffrage—that basic human rights are fundamental values that cannot be bought or sold.
Joshua Wong, a 17-year-old student activist, has been at the center of the democracy movement
that has rattled the Chinese government’s hold on this city. (Source: Carlos Barria / Reuters)
Sixty-year-old men in Zhongnanhai are quaking because of a child. They call him radical, crazed, deranged, extremist. In their flurry of condemnation, they fail to see the walls of calm, peaceable, everyday people who stand up beside him, coalescing into a broad tidal wave of humanity.
These old, tired, brittle men stand atop the fearsome machinery of state control. They threaten violence—wield brutal power. Yet they fear today the goddess of victory, carried aloft by wings of truth.
Oh this goddess! She wears the cloak of democracy and raises the shield of freedom. Her hair shines with human solidarity; her eyes become beacons of liberation.
Oh this goddess!—who bears the torch of sincere and idealistic hope, blazing forth the memories of history, eliciting our most humble sense of gratitude.
Welcome back, goddess! You had gone for 25 years, but we are glad to see you astride the earth once more. Protect our brothers and sisters. Ferry them to freedom and safety. Let them and their democratic dreams take flight.