Into Thin Airwaves
“All movements—even pocket-protector ones—have their legends and their origin myths, often set in an older, simpler place and time, as is this one. But although he never won a Nobel Prize, the man who died was real. And in 2002, when China experts in the West universally judged that his cause was a failure, he commanded the most successful Falun Gong action ever undertaken on Chinese soil—the hijacking of a massive city’s television signals for nearly an hour. Pulled off by a small gang with minimal experience or resources, the operation was strikingly uncharacteristic of Falun Gong at the time, but from it would grow far more sophisticated challenges to Chinese Communist party control over information in the years to come. Television hubs would become Internet routers, guerrillas would be replaced by geeks, infocops and robbers would go virtual, and the brawl would spill out from China into Atlanta, Tehran, and the State Department. But it all started in the city of Changchun with a man named Liang Zhenxing.”
Read it here. Over 5000 words, so get comfy.
BIG UPDATE: “Into Thin Airwaves” is being transformed into a graphic novel by one of the most talented artists ever to come out of China: Daxiong! Raised in Changchun, Daxiong actually logged some hours in the same prison cells as Liang and his gang.
Go here for the occasional update on Daxiong’s progress.