Protesters in China are using blank sheets of paper to show their anger at Covid-19 restrictions so they avoid censorship or arrest.
The act of defiance has gone beyond social media to the streets of China and top universities in the country.
Photos and videos online show people, including students, taking to the streets holding blank pieces of paper in the cities of Nanjing and Beijing.
They are using the silent protest tactic to avoid censorship and arrest.
The blank paper is reported to be a statement about protesters being silenced and also to taunt authorities as they cannot be arrested for holding signs saying nothing.
China is currently enforcing tough restrictions and a zero-tolerance policy for Covid.
Recent anger was sparked after 10 people were killed in an apartment fire in Urumqi, a city in the far west of China.
People have been locked down there as long as 100 days, triggering speculation that the restrictions impeded the reisdents’ escape.
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Frustrations towards Covid restrictions boil over, with rare scenes of crowds chanting against the Chinese president and Communist Party in Shanghai
Protesters in China are calling for President Xi Jinping to step down in rare shows of dissent as a result the government’s zero-Covid policies.
Around 300 protesters gathered at Middle Urumqi road in Shanghai on Saturday to pay tribute to the victims of a major apartment block fire that killed 10 people in Urumqi. Some social media accounts have suggested residents couldn’t leave their homes during the fire because of Covid-19 control measures.
The Shanghai protesters carried flowers and candles and sang the national anthem. But others expressed rare criticism directed towards the government, yelling: “Xi Jinping, step down, Communist Party, step down”, “unlock Xinjiang, unlock China”, “[we] do not want PCR [tests], [we] want freedom” and “press freedom”, according to the account of one demonstrator named Zhao.
By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter