Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Litong Lin, the representative of Assembly of Citizens. I am honored to have the opportunity to speak here.
The host had just said that our organization and I are “standing up and resisting the autocratic tyranny of CCP.” If we compare ourselves to the men and women who gave their lives for a better China or to the braves who were thrown into prison because of their actions of striving for unalienable human rights, we must say we can’t afford this reputation.
Now I just saw many young people of my age. I want to say thank you for coming, for following your conscience, and for refusing to forget the history, voice, and face of the victims that those in power are trying to conceal, eliminate, and obliterate.
However, looking back, we will see that history had put an even tougher mission in our hands. The task of resisting despotism and tyranny is no longer a mission that only belongs to the braves that are thousands of miles away. We also must work harder to protect Canada, our homeland, and her freedom and democracy.
President Reagan once shared a story in one of his speeches. He said that two of his friends once met a refugee who had just escaped Cuba. The refugee told them about his experience of being persecuted by the Cuban regime. After listening to his story, those two people sighed: “We didn’t even know we were that lucky!” The Cuban refugee told them: “What luck do you have? At least I have somewhere to escape.” I think the meaning of this short story is simple: If we lose our freedom here, we will have nowhere to escape, and our freedom here is what the Chinese regime hates and constantly tries to take away.
For the Chinese regime, the recent persecution against the exiled oppositions indicates that the international borders are no longer an obstacle to “exporting” their oppression. I want to tell all the people who cherish our freedom: Canada is not the destination of our voyage. To live here in safe and to participate in the protest every year does not mean we are relieved of our duty. Freedom is something that we must defend, or it will leave us forever, and its price is continuous vigilance against tyranny. Either we defeat tyranny, or it conquers us. If we don’t stand up to resist, then our relatives and friends in China will live forever in the darkness of helplessness, waiting for the transient torchlight of hope. What if the story of China today becomes the reality of Canada’s future?
The choices are clear - Either we live in the pipe dream of waiting for a liberator to free us up behind bars, or we rise our fists and throw the tyrant regime and its running dogs down to the cliff to let them get what they deserved.
I started my speech with a quote from President Reagan, and I want to end my speech with his quote too. He had once said: “There is a price we will not pay. There is a point beyond which they must not advance.” Winston Churchill had also once said: There’s something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty. Hence, we’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.
This is our duty. Thirty-three years ago in Beijing, when a foreign reporter asked a young student riding a bike why he went to Tiananmen Square, he told the reporter and the world what we would never forget: It is my duty.
For all of us who have come here for the 33rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protest, if there is any reason other than refusing to forget it, I think it should be to keep holding the torch from the hands of the young men and women who were on the Square – and tell ourselves, it is my duty to resist the tyranny.