Footage and images that have escaped from the massive censor show the protests that broke out in Canton (Guangzhou) in southern China on Tuesday night and lasted through the night into Wednesday. In a movie clip, about a dozen men can be seen being kidnapped with a strap around their wrists.
A witness told AFP that he saw about 100 policemen taking to the streets in a neighborhood in the southern part of the city. Then he saw how three men were caught.
After a state of dissatisfaction, both Canton and the industrial city of Chongqing announced on Wednesday that they will now ease restrictions imposed somewhat, according to Reuters. But with a record number of cases in China, the country appears to be far from abandoning the policy of stamping out the virus, according to Reuters.
The protests that broke out in many parts of China this weekend are directed against the strict restrictions imposed by the authorities. These are the most widespread protests in China since the pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
The crowds were relatively large, given how rare public protests are in China. In some quarters, there have been calls for the resignation of the increasingly powerful Chinese president, and criticism of the communist regime. Such statements can lead to a prison sentence.
The authorities tried to slow down the development of events, first of all by suppressing all information about what was happening.
The government’s zero tolerance for covid-19 means that single cases of infection have led to huge numbers of people isolating in their homes.
Zero tolerance also applies to public protests. In several major cities rocked by rallies this weekend, such as Beijing and Shanghai, police were deployed widely to patrol and prevent further protests.
The Associated Press reports that hundreds of police cars and reinforced vehicles have taken up positions along the main streets of major cities. The police conduct random identity checks and ask to check people’s phones.
A committee within the CPC Central Committee, which effectively controls China’s police and security forces, declared that the Communist Party would act aggressively.
The statement issued by the Central Committee reads: “We must resolutely suppress infiltration and sabotage by hostile forces in accordance with the law, resolutely suppress illegal and criminal acts that disrupt social order, and effectively ensure overall social stability.” The Commission.
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