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Powderly Released From Prison - Plans Instructable Answered

As you may have heard instructables friend James Powderly was being held by the Chinese government for planning a pro-Tibet laser tagging event. He was held for 6 days and was finally released on monday. Here's what he had to say in a statement on Artnet:

Powderly, who feels he was subjected to psychological torture, nevertheless stresses that what he went through pales in comparison to the ordeal of political prisoners or other inmates. He intends to share his experience with human rights groups and politicians, as well as with the public through his art. "They're going to really wish that they killed my ass," he said.

If you're interested in his experience you can check out the article at Artnet, or you can wait for Powderly's own instructable in which he plans to instructablize his "Beijing projection machine" calling it "How to Get Yourself Thrown in a Chinese Jail." And from the test image you see below, it looks like it's going to be great.

We're glad you're back and safe, James.


Well i'm glad he's OK, but all things aside, it really was stupid to do something like that in Beijing. This is place where they tortured the performers of the opening ceremony, and created 70 new beijing laws just for the olympics.

No, it was incredibly smart to do it when the international spotlight was on China, it would be stupid to do it at any other time.

If you've got to do it one way or another, than yes. But it's general knowledge what china does to their people and prisoners...I'd say it wasn't smart to do it at all.

Look at it this way, IF one acknowledges and accepts the probable consequences and outcome, and IF they are willing to endure what will probably happen, then I don't think I would call it stupid.
If one went in expecting things to be fairytale land" nice and all would work according to plan....then yes, that would be stupid.....but I doubt that he hadn't considered what MAY have happened, and weighed the balances out and realized......they will most likely arrest him, but they also will probably do nothing "atrocious", at least not while the whole world is watching. A bit of a gamble? Yes, but worth it if one wanted to demonstrate "the problem"? Probably.

Wow. Sounds like this Zhang Yimou character needs to have his nuts slammed in a drawer a few times. What a bastard. I was really hoping they'd grow a backbone and take the Olympics away from China, but instead all of the free* countries just bent over and smiled. I mean, what are a few measly human-rights violations, permanent injuries, political executions, and torture sessions when compared to the grandeur of "The Games"? I think I'm going to be sick. Again.

*some restrictions apply - see your local government for details

I agree with the drawer slamming, probably wouldn't need to be too big of a drawer. Yup! You got it right the "Free Countries" are not as free as they think. With out sourcing by every "Free Country" and the balance of trade deficits, "China Owns The World"!

The director of the opening and closing ceremonies went on record as saying that large shows were easier to produce in China than London because he didn't have to bother about all those human rights...

That's typical for China - read W'berg's link below.

That director is not typical (his films have been banned in China in the past). Ask a Chinese official about the Olympic ceremony, and their current strand is to criticise the London contribution to the closing ceremony.

The longer I live, the more I'm convinced it's pretty much the whole world. Not every individual, per se, but each culture/tribe/nation has it's own variety of stupidity.


9 years ago

China has an abysmal record on Tibet, non-Han ethnic chinese and civil rights in general... and it took some stones for James Powderly to to what he did.

But does anyone but myself see a little irony here, when compared to the incident in the 1968 games? These guys were completely reviled in the USA for using the Olympics as a political platform.

but they hated hippies back then...well, more at least.

Solidarity is all it takes. Buh yah, irony, or just hypocrisy?

Typo: your should be you're.

"why would anyone want to go to another timbuctoo for laser tag?" inquired the pig of the fox "why not?" said the sly fox "why not!" said the astonished pig," well, why not go to the grocery store to listen to the music. then."

Looking forward to it, glad he is free. Your leaving? (left?) Even if your no longer an intern keep the good stuff coming.

Hey, thanks LinuxH4x0r, I have a few projects I'm working on before I leave this Tuesday (the inspector gadget paper failed though). Anyhow, yes, I plan on making as many tasteacular instructables as I can for the foreseeable future.


9 years ago

Looking forward to this instructable.

I'm glad he's free! Can't wait to see the 'ible!

That ArtNet link is broken - try this one.

It's a scary read.

Thanks Kiteman, that's the same article, strange they changed links... _BG

How long are you interning there?!?!?!

School starts on wednesday, I'm leaving tuesday night.