John Kennedy’s translation at Global Voices of early Chinese blog reactions to Hu Jia’s arrest has now been blocked in China, but still available via proxy. So I may as well reproduce (shamelessly steal) a part of it - his translation of Mo Zhixu’s post:
I haven’t met Hu Jia but for a few times, and how deep an impression was left; it was two years ago, just after he’d come out from over a month of imprisonment. Hu Jia, at the the time, despite the hardship he’d just been through, was as of old looking calm and collected, and very healthy. Because I’d always been worried about the safety of friends involved in the rights struggle and hunger strikes. Seeing that he’d finally been let out, and was being left alone, I was so happy that I sat down and wrote something about it, thinking that this could only be seen as a step forward.
From then on we mostly kept in touch over the phone or on MSN Messenger, the reason being that he was always on and off under house arrest. Even so, whether it was in Linyi in Shandong or at the door to lawyer Gao’s home, whenever friends and I heard any news or wanted to get some out, the first person we’d think of was Hu. My friend Peng Dingding once went to his house to visit, but he couldn’t even get to the door, and so it went on, with Hu’s home in BoBo Freedom City in Beijing’s Tongzhou district to a very large degree becoming a news distribution center. We’re the free ones, and yet we have to get our information from someone under house arrest. It sounds twisted, but that’s just how valuable Hu Jia is.
It’s risky when there’s political dissent in an authoritarian society, when the rulers can do whatever they choose, this is quite plain. But this is the reason why most dissenters always try to keep a check on what they say and do, and work persistently towards lasting breakthroughs—even if they are just tiny, small breakthroughs. As I see it, the things that Hu Jia does haven’t gone beyond this limit. The information he sends out, even if not sent out by him, could still not be locked away. Don’t forget, this is the the cellphone and internet age. As for the verbal lashing he gives the secret police, it’s nothing more than anger at being kept under illegal house arrest, and compared to illegal house arrest, which after all is the more despicable? Of all the things Hu Jia has done this year, as I see it, there hasn’t been a shred of anything which could be said to be subversive. It’s just been him upholding certain values of his.
And it’s just for that reason that Hu Jia’s actions are fairly well-received. Not long before he was arrested, he even received the “China prize” human rights award from Reporters Without Borders. The common speculation now is that Hu Jia was arrested in order to take out some non-harmonious noise prior to the Olympics. This, though, I don’t get, how a celebration held to send a message to the world—and it stands to be a very intense message—has anything to do with tiny, little Hua Jia being locked away and covered up. Seeing as how China has opted to open up, coming to embrace freedom is inevitable, and within openness and freedom there will always be different voices. Never mind that these kinds of voices will give birth to an even more open and free society, but just say that these voices were void of value and even annoying; isn’t their existence alone simply the most effective defense of openness and freedom? Isn’t their existence alone simply the best propaganda for “an open China welcomes the Olympics”?