On Thursday March 16, blue ribbons appeared everywhere in Shuozhou City, Shanxi Province. Nearly ten thousand people started hunger strikes to support Thursday's Global Relay Hunger Strike defending human rights. According to an inside source, local residents heard about the relay hunger strike event on the radio, and individuals and groups from large corporations, coalmines, and schools decided to participate. This source said even though residents were afraid to be interviewed by the media, they still took the initiative to go to the streets to hang blue ribbons and participate in the hunger strike to show their rage. Local government crooks have been robbing them for so many years they have reached the ends of their ropes.
Local residents said Shuozhou is the poorest region of Shanxi Province. All the large local corporations are state-owned. However, all the corporations' assets have been completely drained by corrupt government officials, and local residents are at their wits' ends. In addition, the corrupt government officials are now using violence against residents to maintain government dominance. Even 80-year-old appellants have been detained and put into labor camps.
This Blue-Ribbon Hunger Strike Campaign was a two-day event held as part of attorney Gao Zhiseng's Global Relay Hunger Strike to defend human rights. People who wanted to participate were instructed to hang blue ribbons everywhere in the city to show their support for the event and to support human rights for all Chinese.
The event was publicized by local radio and also by word of mouth. Several thousand people from the city's Normal University, the Agricultural College, the city's cement factory, its coalmines, and many industrial supply companies participated in the hunger strike. Upon hearing of the hunger strike, Attorney Gao Zhisheng commented, “It is just as I wrote in my article: when police officers unscrupulously use mafia-style violence and brutality against innocent civilians; when civilians everywhere can no longer tolerate the abuse; when justice can no longer be had—the Chinese people in this civilized 21st century will be forced to use the most primitive methods to protest injustice. Citizens in Shuozhou took practical actions to exhibit another side of their courage. They have demonstrated their plight to the outside world, and those evil corrupt officials have truly witnessed the citizens' unified voice and will.”
On March 16, residents from 11 provinces participated in the Relay Hunger Strike to support Jiang Meili, wife of Shanghai's attorney Zheng Enchong, who also went on a hunger strike that day. The 11 provinces and cities included Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Shanxi, Chongqing, Hubei, Henan, Qinhuangdao, Heilongjiang, Shandong, and Sichuan. On March 17, the hunger strike team in Qingdao City and Shandong Province entered into their eighth round of hunger strike.
At the same time groups in many overseas countries such as the United States, England, and Australia are holding hunger strikes at their nations' capitals to protesting against the brutality at Sujiatun Concentration Camp where the organs of live Falun Gong practitioners are harvested and sold.