Sunday, February 27, 2011

China’s 2nd Jasmine Protest: Expansion and Foil

Two days after the first Jasmine protest, another posting was circulating on the Internet, calling for the second protest on Feb 27th. This one called for protesting China's heavy crackdown on activists after the first protest. Four people were charged with "inciting subversion of state power", and one of them a famous right activist and blogger, Ran Yunfei. In addition, a dozen famous lawyers were detained.  

The second protest called for protest to expand from 13 cities to 27 cities, from east coast to west inland.

The Chinese government intensified its censorship on the Internet. On social networking site Renren, Chinese words such as "McDonald" and "KFC" were blocked because they are part of protest locations. Chinese users who climbed over Great Firewall to use Twitter were detained by police. In addition, heave DDoS attack on Twitter was launched the night before the protest.

Despite such heavy crackdown, more than 1,000 people showed up in Shanghai on Feb 27. With large police presence, with police whistle and shouting of "move", people still gathered for more than 2 hours. Five people are arrested by police, one of them carrying Jasmine flower. A demonstrator has managed to give an interview to TV reporter.

The following short video is taken on Feb 27th in Shanghai.

Here is another video on Shanghai's Jasmine protest, but not clear it is for this week (Feb 27) or last week (Feb 20).

On Feb 27 in Beijing, big water truck, police dogs, SWAT team, plain cloth police, and China Mobile blackout on location formed a blanket that foiled the protest. In the cold freezing weather, the water discouraged people from ever walking on. Wangfujing, a busy commercial street, was blocked from both sides, and people were not allowed to enter after 2pm.

The heavy police presence and their menacing behavior made Jeremiah Jenne comment, "A person would have lasted longer lathering up with baby seal blubber and trying to French kiss a great white shark than they would have holding up a sign in Central Beijing this afternoon." (The Atlantic)

The following photos were taken by Adam Dean in Beijing on February 27th. Seven foreign journalists were detained, and a Bloomberg TV correspondent was beaten badly by plain clothed police.

For people who closely watch this movement in China, the second Jasmine protest is considered a success. First of all, the fact that it generates larger crowds than last time in Shanghai means the government's information blockage and intimidation failed. Despite arrests and harassment, people still bravely showed up. This suggests how deeply people feel about their grievance and how much they want an outlet to voice it. How many people would have gathered in Beijing had police not blocked the streets and used water truck? I suspect there could have more people than last time, considering how similarly Beijing is to Shanghai, and more people showed up in Beijing than Shanghai last time.

The remarkable fact is that Jasmine protest is alive and continuing in China. After overcoming fear, the Chinese people have taken their movement one step forward.


  1. On Youtube, it says the video above was posted on February 20, 2011.

  2. the bill

    « China may be ‘stable’ now, but this kind of stability comes at the cost of future chaos. The illusory stability the Chinese communist dictatorship has created through repression and massacre cannot be sustained. The apparent stability today in Beijing, Shanghai and other large cities has been purchased by accumulating a deficit in terms of the future legitimacy of the central authorities. As for all such political deficits, some day the bill will come due. »

    Fang Lizhi, 1999

    Ap. One immense prison (blogspot)