Protest zones without protests

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 at 21:48 | Posted in China, civil rights, Freedom of speech | 3 Comments

The Chinese government have established special zones for sanctioned protests at Beijing’s World Park. That sounds sort of cute and in Chinese circumstances extraordinarily liberal. However, not a single application to organize a protest has been sanctioned so far. Wang Wei, vice-president of the Beijing organising committee, told reporters they should be “satisfied” with the protest zones. Sure, the zones are just fine and it would probably be too much to ask that actual protests were allowed to take place there.

Of the 77 applications filed so far, 74 have been rejected because “the issues have been addressed” by “proper authorities”. Two applications are pending because they did not include “sufficient information” and one was turned down because it “included children” which is considered to be against the rules. Judging from these statistics, the mere existence of the protest zones could be understood to have solved all social problems in China leaving no need to actually carry out the protests.

Many applicants are reported to have been intimidated by Chinese officials just for filing their application. Two elderly ladies, 79 year old Wu Dianyuan and 77 year old Wang Xiuying, have been sentenced to “re-education through labour” for filing an application to protest against having been evicted from their home in 2001.  The one year sentence was imposed on the ladies by a commission without a trial.


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  1. The same old china… It´s a shame!

    And we have also this:

    WAPA) – The Spanish Government has announced three days of national mourning due to the air crash occurred yesterday at the airport of Madrid-Barajas to a Spanair airplane, flight JK5022, in which killed 153 passengers. A chorus of negative protests raised after the decision of the International Olympic Committee to prohibit the Spanish delegation the display of mourning, showing the flag at half-mast.

    At the same time the mourning-band has been forbidden today to the Spanish athletes. However, this morning, three women athletes who have participated to the 20 km march have put on a black pall.

    The International Olympic Committee would have explained this decision with the example of Georgia, to whom was forbidden to display own mourning the day after the outbreak of war in South Ossetia. For the IOC all Georgian initiatives in the Olympic Games could offend Russian athletes.

    However, the international community remains amazed before this choice, because it is difficult to understand what are political aspects of this air crash in which died 153 innocents. (Avionews

  2. The IOC are certainly far from real life. Their first mistake was to grant China the current olympics, the second to grant Russia the 2014 olympic winter games. I do not see a potential to carry on the olympic tradition as it is being applied at present. The IOC should be dissolved and the future of the games decided on some other grounds.

  3. yEP! But nowadays everyone is very afraid of the asian giant… so they grant them all their wishes. Even institutions like the IOC.

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