18 votes

How one man on a bridge marred Xi Jinping's big moment

5 comments

  1. bhrgunatha
    Link
    I can't fathom the unbelievable bravery of this man. His life is effectively over. That's not to say there aren't others equally brave or whose actions won't get punished to the same extent. There...

    I can't fathom the unbelievable bravery of this man. His life is effectively over.

    That's not to say there aren't others equally brave or whose actions won't get punished to the same extent. There are plenty of those unsung heroes.

    The timing and blatancy of this protest in particular is so stark as to be notable.

    14 votes
  2. skybrian
    Link
    From the article: […] […]

    From the article:

    Wearing an orange worksuit and a yellow hard hat, he easily passed off as a construction worker.
    But then, he unfurled two massive white banners covered in slogans written in red paint. He set the tyres on fire. As plumes of black smoke swirled around him, he picked up a loudhailer and repeatedly chanted:
    "Go on strike at school and work, remove dictator and national traitor Xi Jinping! We want to eat, we want freedom, we want to vote!"

    […]

    This has led to an ongoing cat-and-mouse game with citizens, who have turned to AirDrop and file transfer services to share pictures, or come up with oblique terms such as "I saw it" to discuss the incident.
    "This is really the strictest crackdown I have seen in years, in terms of the sheer breadth of things they are taking down. It's overkill," said censorship analyst Eric Liu with China Digital Times.

    […]

    Activist groups have reproduced his political slogans online in posters and memes. Protest signs and graffiti have proliferated in universities, public walls, bridges, and even bathroom stalls in China and elsewhere around the world.

    Many have also launched an online hunt for the mystery protester, zeroing in on a physicist and academic who appears to have left a digital trail of breadcrumbs for people to find. It includes an online manifesto, which some have made copies of and circulated online.

    9 votes
  3. [2]
    sp00ky
    Link
    There is a lot of wishful thinking in this article. A large percentage of the population in China, especially the younger generation, know next to nothing about the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident....

    There is a lot of wishful thinking in this article. A large percentage of the population in China, especially the younger generation, know next to nothing about the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident. And despite what this article says, news of the Bridge Man incident has only reached an insignificant fraction of the population. The propaganda machine, the formal and informal social reinforcement mechanisms, and the modern surveillance technologies are just too strong for a counterculture to develop. Digital authoritarianism is being developed into an art form by the CCP to snuff out any opposition before it has a chance.

    8 votes
    1. skybrian
      Link Parent
      Generally I agree, though I'd hedge a bit because making long-term predictions is hard. But the article isn't predicting anything much about China's future, and it quotes experts saying a mass...

      Generally I agree, though I'd hedge a bit because making long-term predictions is hard. But the article isn't predicting anything much about China's future, and it quotes experts saying a mass uprising is unlikely.

      6 votes
  4. sp00ky
    Link
    CNN has written more about the spread of this protest and how difficult it is even for overseas Chinese to voice their opinions: Anti-Xi protest spreads in China and worldwide as Chinese leader...

    CNN has written more about the spread of this protest and how difficult it is even for overseas Chinese to voice their opinions: Anti-Xi protest spreads in China and worldwide as Chinese leader begins third term Note the remarks about fear of being reported by fellow students. While there are some students who do hold dissenting views, the number of others who are gripped by jingoistic nationalism is a lot higher. The weaponization of nationalism to fortify the CCP is frightening, and probably very dangerous in the long term (as are white/Christian nationalism sentiments in the US). It is still far easier to find people who will emotionally call these protesters traitors and cite the duty to "defend the motherland" than it is to find people who will voice the mildest opinion against Xi. I hope I'm wrong, but this ominously echoes the Russians marching off to die for Putin's ambitions in Ukraine right now.

    4 votes