VNTB - 73rd Independence Day Celebration: Growing Tension

Nguyen Tuong Thuy (VNTB)   The celebration of the 73rd Independence Declaration this year was highlighted by tightened security nationw...

Nguyen Tuong Thuy (VNTB)  

The celebration of the 73rd Independence Declaration this year was highlighted by tightened security nationwide, much stricter than ever. Before, there had been calls on social media platforms for mass rallies on 2nd September. On its part, the State claimed that the calls were efforts “to pull dark clouds into clear skies” and warned the public to be on the alert, “not to be trapped by bad elements.”


Public security forces were mobilized to the fullest to prevent demonstrations. Police of all kinds in different uniforms and plainclothes thronged the streets.

Hanoi capital on Independence Day looks like one in a pending war to protect the regime
Arrests prior to 2nd September

Those arrested and prosecuted include:

- Le Quoc Binh, born in 1974, detained 29th August, charged with being a member of Viet Tan Party and bringing weapons into Vietnam in preparation for terrorist activities. However, immediately after the event, Viet Tan Party rejected the charge.

- Doan Khanh Vinh Quang, born in 1976, and Bui Manh Dong, born in 1978 in Can Tho, detained 1st September, charged with illegal activities online.

- The same day, 1st September, Nguyen Ngoc Anh, born in 1980 in Hanoi, was taken into custody by Ben Tre Province Public Security, charged with storing, disseminating, and propagandizing information and materials.

In addition, two others were arrested, questioned, beaten, and later released including:

- Ex-prisoner of conscience Nguyen Ding Cuong, born 1981 in Nghe An, arrested 31st August and later released.

- Ngo Thanh Tu, arrested in Cam Ranh 30th August, taken to Khanh Hoa province and questioned, released the day after. Tu said he had been tortured and robbed of his cellphone.

Even women mobilized to closely watch writer Pham Thanh’s home
Many people, considered to be “fuses” of demonstrations in Saigon, Hanoi were under surveillance or even stalked when they went outside.

The other familiar names include Truong Van Dung, Ngo Duy Quyen, Le Thi Cong Nhan, Tran Thi Thao, Nguyen Dinh Am, Pham Thanh, Duong Thi Tan, Le My Hanh, Nguyen Thanh Ha, Nguyen Binh Nguyen, Nguyen Tuong Thuy, Hoa TD, Hoang Cong Cuong, Le Hoang, Nguyen Thi Tam, Dinh Quang Tuyen, Nguyen Xuan Dien, Nguyen Hong Duc, Phan Van Phong, Le Trong Hung, Le Thi Thap (prisoner of conscience Luu Van Vinh’s wife), Vi Duc Hoi (Lang Son), Nguyen Duc Giang, Duong Dai Trieu Lam, Nguyen Lai (Khanh Hoa) etc. Even those whose family had been imprisoned were also followed such as Ms. Bui Thi Re, prisoner of conscience Nguyen Van Tuc’s wife.

In a nutshell, those who once took to the street and were taken into police custody were kept under surveillance. Nonetheless, some managed to get out of the control to demonstrate.

Demonstrating activities scantily taken part in by a few in Hanoi
On the other hand, celebrating the Independence Day turned out to be boring and tepid on the part of low-ranking security personnel. They had to be on duty, being in no mood for standing or sitting wearily in alleys to do a useless and illegal job. A young security agent confided: “This job is not what we really want to do; if you can, show us something better to do to bring home the bacon.”

Increasing security on the occasion of holidays or social events is what public security forces do annually. This year, however, dealing with demonstrations has grown really tense because the mass rallies with tens of thousands of demonstrators in tens of major cities on 10th June has rendered the regime dazed due to its unpredictability. Involved in the 10th June protests were civilians not as naïve or easy to be manipulated as the authorities keep propagandizing. Nor was it incited by a certain hostile force. It was actually the demonstration of socially-conscious citizens in the context of a critical situation of the country – first and foremost: Vietnam’s sovereignty.

Till the end of 2nd September, the authorities have succeeded in preventing demonstrations. The campaign is obviously illegal because to demonstrate is a right stipulated in the Constitution. However, the strictly taken measures can merely save face, but fail to prevent surges of submerged waves, waiting for a chance to roar and crash. The matter is to soothe nerves of the people. But it’s impossible to do so by taking illegal, suppressive measures or using political mottoes hailing the regime as a success of socialism together with flags and banners on the streets and in every single alley. The matter is how to govern the country efficiently and peacefully - sovereignty recognized and respected and society developed. For the time being, however, this is beyond the reach of the authorities. Analyzing the socio-political situation in Vietnam during the past two years, writer Nguyen Xuan Nghia noticed: “Vietnam is no longer a ‘stable nation’ as propagandized by the government. In this context, it is impossible to know when a revolution will take place and change this political system. It might be a ‘self-evolving process’ - peaceful or violent.”

Owing to hundreds of thousands, millions of social contradictions from within together with tens, hundreds of contradictions between its citizens and the State in all fields, nobody now has faith in the problem-solving capabilities of this political system. Vietnam currently is a gunpowder depot. It shall explode, the matter is when.


Translated by Kate Chesterson 
Source: VNTB

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