Rare Beijing Protest scraped from internet as censorship tightens


China’s censors have stepped into high gear to scrub the internet of evidence of a rare protest in central Beijing and punish social media users who spread its message calling for President Xi Jinping’s removal.

A man was arrested for displaying banners and shouting slogans against Chinese president Xi Jinping at Sitong Bridge, Haidian District, Beijing on Thursday.

The identity and the whereabouts of the man who was arrested are not known yet.

The rare public demonstration albeit by an individual comes as a reminder of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests when thousands of students took to the streets of Beijing to rally against the government.

The small-scale demonstration, which involved a fire and two handwritten banners draped from a highway overpass, came as the Chinese capital bolsters security for the ruling Communist party’s most important political meeting in a decade.

The banners demanded the removal of “dictator and traitor Xi Jinping”, days before the president is expected to secure a third term as party leader. The messages also called for an end to the country’s draconian zero-Covid policies.

According to the Twitter handle The Great Translation Movement that shared the man’s video said that the banners he put up translated to “No PCR test, but food. No lockdown, but free. No dictator but vote.”

The protest came at a time when China imposed severe restrictions to contain a fresh COVID spread.

WeChat and the Twitter-like Weibo service deleted all mentions and images of the protest and disabled thousands of users’ accounts for violating “relevant Internet policies”.

With inputs from agencies

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Rare Beijing Protest scraped from internet as censorship tightens
Rare Beijing Protest scraped from internet as censorship tightens
ASE News
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