In quarantine, we are forced to make our decisions through the forum, and at first I think this is helping a little to make us work together again. But many do not read the forum, or ignore the decisions. I am on watch yesterday, and see a student who is supposed to watch another gate throw a packet over the wall and climb in from outside. I stop him and ask why was he outside. I tell him he must start the clock again on his quarantine. For a moment he looks ashamed or afraid, like a child who is caught out of school, then he calls me “committee bitch” and walks away with the packet. I think I will go after him or call for help, but who can I call? Everybody on watch is too far away, nobody else can come out of their room. I cannot force him to give up the packet – it must be food – and if I try I will make contact and maybe catch the flu, because he has been outside. I decide it is easier to post about him to the forum, and expel him after quarantine. Does this make me the “committee bitch”? I do not want to force an authority, I only want us to all agree a rule and keep it, to keep us safe. If he does not agree, why does he not post on the forum to say so? This is our quarantine. If some people refuse to keep it, why do we bother?
I am angry about this, and feel helpless, but I know we have a bigger problem. The army may attack again at any time, and then we will have to fight again and risk dying again, and there is nobody but the committee to decide what to do, and we cannot argue with ourselves online. The Quarantine Movement lost a lot of face, and a lot of hope, when we lost Zhen. We made many decisions without him – we never had a leader among ourselves, only for the committee – but we use his authority to debate with the Party, because he has so much respect. Now, all our respect is lost, I feel like we are lost.
On the forum, some people suggest new elections, but nobody in the Quarantine Movement is nominated, only the Party. We do not want another Zhen. Li says, let them sacrifice one of their own to this stupid game of democracy, let us question and doubt and blame them until they lose their mind and jump from the BoYa tower. She was close with Zhen, but I don’t think she really means this. The Party, here, are also just students, we were all the Quarantine Movement in the beginning, not two different parties. We must try to remember this.