Activist uses Web to monitor Beijing

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Lu Siqing is one part activist, one part web geek, and one part secret agent. According to the BALTIMORE SUN, Lu runs the Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy, a one-man operation that monitors the Chinese government’s human-rights abuses.

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For a staff of one, the ICHRD does a lot. Last year, major newspapers and wire services cited the Hong Kong-based center nearly 800 times, on issues that ranged from the government’s treatment of Falun Gong members to the country’s rising unemployment rate. Despite Bejing’s efforts to censor it, Lu’s web site, www.89-64.com, gets 20,000 to 30,000 hits a day.

Using a pager and a cellular phone with a phone number that changes regularly, Lu keeps in contact with activists in mainland China. Lu’s tactics are a little controversial — recently he impersonated a concerned relative in order to get information from a hospital after factory workers clashed with local police — but journalists who use the ICHRD’s reports say that he’s a reliable source.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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