To the Editors:
After seven years of struggle, the group that publishes the Review Quê Me (Motherland) is now encountering grave difficulties, and faces the possibility of being reduced to silence. As a last resort, we are launching an appeal to the press for help from those who are concerned about Human Rights and the Rights of the Vietnamese People. The appeal follows.
Association Les Amis de Quê Me
In June 1981, during a nationwide campaign to confiscate prohibited printed matter, the Communist authorities in Vietnam seized 3 million publications. This included 316,314 banned books and reviews. In Saigon alone, 60 tons of publications as yet unclassified were seized. In the process of these seizures, 205 underground printing presses were discovered according to figures given by the October 1981 edition of the Review of Communism, the theoretical and political organ of the Vietnamese Communist Party, published in Hanoi.
Foremost amongst the confiscated reviews was Quê Me, edited and published in France since February 1976. Each month hundreds of copies of Quê Me find their way by clandestine means into Vietnam where they are reprinted and distributed throughout the whole country. As a result, Quê Me has become an essential voice for all those who are resisting totalitarian oppression in Vietnam—peasants, workers, intellectuals, Catholics, Buddhists, North Vietnamese dissidents….
But today this essential voice is in danger of being silenced. Quê Me faces the threat of extinction in France.
Quê Me has been published up to now with the help of a small artisan’s printing shop which has ensured the survival of the review and which at the same time worked in the service of people victimized by totalitarian states in different parts of the world.
But now, unable to meet costs that have become ever more burdensome, this printing shop has had to close down, and its assets have been put into liquidation.
Quê Me cannot be printed at present. But it is still possible to save Quê Me!
The sum of 200,000 FF (£20,000 sterling or $38,000 US) is needed to ensure that Quê Me can be printed and can continue its work, providing information and comment.
200,000 FF isn’t much, but it means a lot for all those who wait in Vietnam for a voice that speaks specially for them. Help save Quê Me!
Contributions and signatures of support should be sent to: Les Amis de Quê Me, 8 bis, rue Belgrand, 75020 Paris, France.
Fernando Arrabal, Alexandre Astruc,
Stanislas Baranczak, Samuel Beckett,
Jean-Marie Benoist, Alain Besançon,
Cornelius Castoriadis, Michel Crozier,
Andre Glücksmann, Pierre Golendorf,
Olivier Guichard, Marek Halter,
Lane Kirkland, Michel Leiris,
Bernard-Henri Levy, Huber Matos,
Vladimir Maximov, Czeslaw Milosz,
Tania and Leonid Plyushch,
Susan Sontag, Nikita Struve,
Olga Svintsova, Olivier Todd,
May 13, 1982