[Plura-list] Living through Xinjiang's genocide
doctorow at craphound.com
Wed Feb 3 12:06:03 EST 2021
* Living through Xinjiang's genocide: So much for "never again."
* This day in history: 2006, 2011, 2016
* Colophon: Recent publications, upcoming/recent appearances, current
writing projects, current reading
👩🔬 Living through Xinjiang's genocide
It's disturbingly easy to forget that China is operating a genocidal
program of ethnic cleansing against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in
Xinjiang province. The secrecy of the concentration camps and the chaos
of the world makes it all rather abstract.
But periodically, a leak or a first-hand account will bring the issue
back to the fore, and each time that happens, it's a chance to galvanize
action. We've missed a lot of these chances.
In 2017, the Chinese state announced that it would collect the DNA of
every person in the province.
Later that year, we learned that cops were using ubiquitous
stop-and-frisks to force Uyghurs to install surveillance apps on their
In 2018, a redditor visiting Xinjiang was forced to install the
surveillance app at the border:
It wasn't a one-off - soon, every tourist was having the app installed
during border inspections:
When Human Rights Watch reverse-engineered the app, they revealed just
how far-reaching and sinister it was - a system for algorithmic
surveillance, suspicion and accusation:
But as chilling as these dry technological accounts were, they were
still technical, not personal. It was only when they were augmented by
leaks about the plans for ethnic cleansing and survivor accounts from
the camps that the true horror set in.
The pic of hundreds of prisoners kneeling in ranks on a train platform,
shaven heads bowed:
And then the leaked Chinese intelligence memos detailing the plan to
open 500 concentration camps disguised as "training centers."
The camp survivor who told of punitive rape, forced labor, torture and
And the hundreds of pages of leaked state docs revealing that the
cruelty was part of the plan, the "no mercy" plan inspired by America's
decades-long domestic "war on terror."
Gradually, the connection between the camps, the apps, and everyday life
came into focus. The camps were everting, thanks to the apps, turning
Xinjiang's cities into "smart cities" that operated as satellites of the
And every month, fresh reminders that Xinjiang is part of the "supply
chain": that our electronics, covid supplies, and gewgaws are being
made by terrorized slaves as part of a wider plan to erase a people:
We've squandered so many opportunities to treat the situation in
Xinjiang with the alarm it deserves, and yet they keep coming, bought
with the blood of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims.
Today, the Intercepted podcast reports on another set of leaks, these
describing the terror of everyday life outside of the camps - cities
overshadowed by surveillance and the looming threat of being taken away.
Parents separated from their children, families forced to install
cameras inside their homes, forced sterilizations and abortions,
desecration of cemeteries, torture and sexual violence.
It's haunting, deeply disturbing reportage, but we can't afford to look
👩🔬 This day in history
#15yrsago British Library: DRM lobotomizes “human memory”
#15yrsago Sony CD spyware vendor caves to EFF demands
#10yrsago Infringing anime downloads increase DVD sales
#10yrsago Michael Lewis explains the Irish econopocalypse
#10yrsago Hex values for Crayola colors
#5yrsago EU plans to class volunteers who rescue drowning Syrian
refugees as “traffickers”
#5yrsago Tattoo artist asserts copyright over customers’ bodies
Today's top sources:
* My next novel, "The Lost Cause," a post-GND novel about truth and
reconciliation. Yesterday's progress: 507 words (106233 total).
* A short story, "Jeffty is Five," for The Last Dangerous Visions.
Yesterday's progress: 260 words (2918 total).
Currently reading: Analogia by George Dyson.
Latest podcast: Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town (part 30)
* Launch for the young adult edition of Edward Snowden's memoir
PERMANENT RECORD, Feb 9,
* Boskone, 58, Feb 12-15, https://boskone.org/
* Keynote, NISO Plus, Feb 22-25,
* Chop Shop Economics
* Monocle Reads
* Hedging Bets on the Future (Motherboard Cyber):
* "Attack Surface": The third Little Brother novel, a standalone
technothriller for adults. The *Washington Post* called it "a political
cyberthriller, vigorous, bold and savvy about the limits of revolution
and resistance." Order signed, personalized copies from Dark Delicacies
* "How to Destroy Surveillance Capitalism": an anti-monopoly pamphlet
analyzing the true harms of surveillance capitalism and proposing a
* "Little Brother/Homeland": A reissue omnibus edition with a new
introduction by Edward Snowden:
https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250774583; personalized/signed copies
* "Poesy the Monster Slayer" a picture book about monsters, bedtime,
gender, and kicking ass. Order here:
https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781626723627. Get a personalized, signed
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"*When life gives you SARS, you make sarsaparilla*" -Joey "Accordion
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