There is a saying among petitioners that if your problem cannot be solved before the Olympics, it will be even harder after the Games.
- Petitioner Liu Feiyue
The strength of this belief reminds me of the mythologies and stories told by other groups in a state of severe disempowerment, like street children. These stories are used like maps in a hostile terrain in which recognisable, ‘normal’ human meaning systems (eg: children will be cared for; the judicial system will mostly apply the law) have completely broken down. I suppose I think this because from where I’m sitting, petitioners look equally unlikely to get what they are looking for on either side of the Olympics. The following is a digest of recent reporting on petitioners and blogger activists by RFA’s Mandarin service, translated by Chen Ping: