BEIJING: Protests were held in other cities by angry crowds early Sunday morning in Shanghai. across China, as Opposition to the government’s hardline policies zero-Covid policy mounts.
Thursday saw a terrible fire in Urumqi (the capital of northwest) ChinaThe Xinjiang region has sparked a flood of support anger as Many social media users blame Covid lockdowns, which were too long, for limiting rescue efforts.
China Is the last major economy to be married to a zero-Covid Strategy: Authorities use snap lockdowns, long quarantines, and mass testing to stop new outbreaks as They appear.
Some protesters can be heard chanting in a video shared widely on social media and geolocated to AFP. “Xi Jinping, step down! CCP, step down!” Wulumuqi street in central Shanghai — named after Urumqi, Mandarin — is the site of a rare display public opposition. ChinaThe top leadership.
A witness to the Shanghai protests who asked not to be identified said that they arrived at 2:00 AM (1700 GMT) to observe one group of people laying flowers along the sidewalk in honor of the 10 victims of the fire. Another group was shouting slogans.
A video taken by an eyewitness captured a large crowd shouting out and holding up blank pieces of white paper — a symbol against censorship as They faced multiple lines of police.
According to the attendee, there were minor clashes, but overall the police were cooperative. “civilised”.
“It’s touching to see so many like-minded and humane people uniting together,” They agreed.
“It’s shocking to know that, under today’s circumstances, there are still many brave people standing out.”
Multiple witnesses stated that two people were taken by police.
Officials were quick to stop online discussions of the protest. Related phrases were removed from Weibo, a platform that is similar to Twitter, almost immediately after video of the rallies was posted.
While the area was relatively quiet on Sunday morning, a large security presence was evident.
An AFP journalist saw people with flowers being approached by police officers before they left.
Other vigils were held at universities overnight across ChinaAFP was told by an undergraduate participant that he had received one at the elite Peking University.
For fear of repercussions, he spoke anonymously and said that anti-Covid slogans had appeared on a wall at the university. Some words echo those found on a banner. over An image of a Beijing bridge before the Communist Party Congress in Oktober.
People began gathering around midnight local, but he had not dared to join at first.
“When I arrived (two hours later), I think there were at least 100 people there, maybe 200,” He stated.
“At first, they sang the ‘Internationale’. Later, some students started shouting slogans, but the reaction wasn’t particularly loud. People weren’t really sure what they should shout. But I heard people yelling: ‘No to Covid tests, yes to freedom!'”
He also showed AFP photos and videos that corroborated his account.
He stated that students were communicating with teachers and security guards. However, it is not clear if they were subject to punishment for their participation.
When he arrived, graffiti was already covered.
Video on social media showed that there was a mass vigil at Nanjing Institute of Communications with people holding white sheets of paper and lights.
Weibo censored hashtags related to the protest, while video platforms Duoyin (and Kuaishou) were removed of any videos.
Social media also allowed videos from Xi’an and Guangzhou to spread, showing small protests. The footage could not be independently verified by AFP.
China Sunday saw the first ever report of 39.506 domestic Covid deaths. This is a record, but it’s still a small number when compared with the cases in the West during peak pandemic.
The backdrop to the protests is growing frustration among the public over ChinaFollow sporadic rallies in other places recently to maintain a zero-tolerance policy.
Public opposition has been raised by a number of high-profile instances in which emergency services were allegedly slow down by Covid lockdowns. This led to the deaths.
After the Urumqi Fire, hundreds of protestors gathered outside the government offices to chant: “Lift lockdowns!”AFP partially verified the footage.
Another video shows many people marching through an east neighborhood shouting the same slogan. Then they face off with a group of hazmat-clad officials, who then angrily reproach security personnel.
AFP was able geolocate local landmarks to verify the videos, but could not pinpoint the exact time the protests took place.
Officials from Urumqi said Saturday that the city was safe. “had basically reduced social transmissions to zero” Would you? “restore the normal order of life for residents in low-risk areas in a staged and orderly manner”.