A dissident’s poem: ‘China belongs to everyone’

In 2007, one year after Chinese activist Zhu Yufu completed a seven-year prison term for “subversion of state power,” he was sentenced to two years in prison for “obstructing official business.” Last March, Chinese officials again detained Zhu, whom they formally arrested and charged the following month with “inciting subversion of state power.” Among the materials prosecutors have cited as evidence in his latest trial is the following poem, which Zhu posted on the Internet. This translation of “It’s Time,” by A.E. Clark, is republished with permission:

It’s time, people of China! It’s time.

The Square belongs to everyone.

With your own two feet

It’s time to head to the Square and make your choice.

It’s time, people of China! It’s time.

A song belongs to everyone.

From your own throat

It’s time to voice the song in your heart.

It’s time, people of China! It’s time.

China belongs to everyone.

Of your own will

It’s time to choose what China shall be.

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