Li Cheng Peng, an outspoken ex-sports journalist turned censorship-slayer and social media darling has a new book out:

“全世界人民都知道:SmILENCE” (The Whole World Knows: SmILENCE)

He held a signing near my house in Chengdu and I went to check it out and take some photos. I bought the book and was hoping to get an autograph, but I had both my boys with me and at least 2000 people showed up with the same idea. But without toddlers to chase. Earlier on his Weibo account, Li let his 6 million+ followers know about the signing, and he also revealed a gag order from the “relevant organs”:

“深夜有人匆忙传达上峰死命令:12日成都签售,不准读者向我提问、不准我说话,不准我致开场白,连“新年好,谢谢你们”也不准说,不准介绍流沙河、冉云飞及所有嘉宾名字,不准向他们提问,也不准他们说话,连“新年好”也不准说。他们只能坐在角落…我深觉这这违背了我对尊严的理解。他们疯了。思考中…”

” … I am not allowed to let readers ask questions, I am not allowed to speak, no allowed to give opening remarks, I am not even allowed to say “Happy New Year, Thank you all” … I am not allowed to introduce Liu Sha He [a prominent Chengdu-based intellectual who was among the fist to sign Charter 08] … this is totally contrary to my understanding of dignity. They’re nuts. I’m thinking about it … “

Li Cheng Peng gets away with all sorts of things that people like Ai Weiwei and others cannot, because he is not as famous abroad as he is here in China. His clout in China is formidable. As he sat down to sign his book, he donned a black gag and the crowd roared. Several young people came with their own gags.

“He is too famous to touch,” said a girl named Yueling. “I bought three of his books just to support his cause and keep him free to speak.”

Several people bought upwards of 10 copies, some for friends, others just to show their appreciation. I will get an interview soon, and post that when I do get it. Till then, here are some pics of the book signing:

It was a packed house of about 2000 people

It was a packed house of about 2000 people

Li Cheng Peng supporters read the book while waiting for the man to show up

Li Cheng Peng supporters read the book while waiting for the man to show up

Li Cheng Peng, center, with Liu Sha He seated behind him.

Li Cheng Peng, center, with Liu Sha He seated behind him.

Li Cheng Peng

The boys soak up the scene

 

 

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