Laogai Museum founder and executive director Harry Wu spoke with 10 ninth-grade students from New York States’ Windward School. To celebrating their final year at the school, their history teacher Jason Steiker took them on a two-day trip to DC, with the highlights of sitting in on a Supreme Court case and hearing Harry share his story!
Harry passionately related the injustices that occurred, and still occur, to common Chinese people throughout the history of the People’s Republic. In addition to explaining his own senseless arrest, 19-year imprisonment, and two episodes of solitary confinement, he told the students about China’s lack of free speech, lack of political representation, lack of religious freedom, its Internet censorship, and forced abortions and sterilizations under the one-child policy. Harry closed with the inspirational words that these American students are free to choose their own successful careers and establish their own destiny, but that the Chinese Laogai stole his youthful plans, and it is now his destiny, even at an advanced age, to keep the flame of advocacy burning for the 3-5 million current Laogai prisoners who yearn for normal lives.
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As the students were studying ancient China and had not yet covered the 20th-century, museum staff opened the tour with an overview of modern Chinese history, including the Hundred Flowers Period, the Great Leap Forward and ensuing Great Famine, the Cultural Revolution, Deng’s Reform and Opening, and the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Having learned from our detailed exhibits of the “guilty until proven innocent” mentality on which China’s judicial (and especially extra-judicial) system operates, the students were excited to witness a hopefully more just decision tomorrow at the Supreme Court.
To make the Laogai Museum a part of your DC experience, please email email@example.com or call 202-730-9308 to arrange a group tour and a talk with Harry Wu. We look forward to hosting you!