And Now, Protests in China

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on February 27, 2011

They may be small, but they are actually happening, and they have the government worried:

Large numbers of police – and new tactics like shrill whistles and street cleaning trucks – squelched overt protests in China for a second Sunday in a row after more calls for peaceful gatherings modeled on recent democratic movements in the Middle East.

Near Shanghai’s People’s Square, uniformed police blew whistles nonstop and shouted at people to keep moving, though about 200 people – a combination of onlookers and quiet sympathizers who formed a larger crowd than a week ago – braved the shrill noise. In Beijing, trucks normally used to water the streets drove repeatedly up the busy commercial shopping district spraying water and keeping crowds pressed to the edges.

Foreign journalists met with tighter police controls. In Shanghai, authorities called foreign reporters Sunday indirectly warning them to stay away from the protest sites, while police in Beijing followed some reporters and blocked those with cameras from entering the Wangfujing shopping street where protests were called.

Plainclothes police struck a Bloomberg News television reporter, who was then taken away for questioning.
Police also detained several Chinese, at least two in Beijing and four in Shanghai, putting them into vans and driving them away, though it was not clear if they had tried to protest.

Now would perhaps be a very good time for the international community–led by the Obama Administration–to inform the Chinese that a second Tienanmen Square-like massacre will not be tolerated.

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