Published on Oct 10, 2012 by NTDTV
It’s an unbelievable piece of satire in a country known for iron-fisted censorship and harsh handling of petitioners. Miao Cuihua, most likely a pseudonym, is doing what countless other migrant workers have done in the past—protest against unpaid wages. But she’s skipped the queue at the petition office. Instead, Miao has created a video that not only demands she receives her quote, “blood and sweat money,” but also mocks the Chinese regime’s propaganda machine—and it’s gone viral.
Above her reads “Migrant Worker Unpaid Salary News Conference” Her rambling rhetoric that follows could be lifted from any of China’s scripted foreign ministry briefings.
[Miao Cuihua, Unpaid Wages News Agency]:
“We are regretted to hear that the official of the Bureau of Civil Affairs said ‘I represent the government. When I say not to give you money, you won’t get money. What can you do? We propose to peacefully, reasonably, and legally request payment. Harmony is precious. Society stability is the priority. So never appeal illegally.’”
The language she uses is typical of China’s well-educated elite, not a migrant worker who mixes concrete for a living.
Her video has been online since May, but in the past few days it’s exploded.
[Xie Liusheng, Shenzhen City Rights Activist for Migrant Workers]:
“It is very interesting. It satirizes the government’s corruption from another angle.”
[Chen Yongmiao, Beijing-based political commentator]:
“In China, if those migrant workers don’t use this kind of special, ironic, and mocking news reporting way to speak up. They would hardly get any public attention.”
Miao worked for the funeral administration department of Hangu district government in Tianjin City. She says a court ruled in 2009 that they owed workers almost $600,000 in unpaid wages, and has never paid up.
Her video is now making Hangu officials take notice, and they have been quick to respond. They’re not paying her though, instead, they say her video is full of distortions and she’s trying to extort more money from the state.