Message to one diktator re another

Monday, 21 February 2011

Middle East domino effect reaches China.

Police keep watch on Wanfujing shopping area, Beijing
Large numbers of plain-clothed and uniformed officers were deployed in Beijing, Shanghai and several other Chinese cities after anonymous dissidents issued a call on Saturday to any disaffected Chinese to gather and chant slogans for freedom and democracy.
In the event, the calls appeared not have penetrated far into the consciousness of ordinary Chinese as the authorities censored Chinese microblogs, made pre-emptive arrests of up to 100 known activists and mounted a deterrent show of police presence on the streets.
In Beijing's Wangfujing shopping district, close to Tiananmen Square which was the epicentre of protests in 1989, a few hundred people gathered in front of the McDonald's restaurant that had been appointed as the place of protest.
They were comfortably outnumbered by journalists, police officers and large numbers of undercover officers, according to those present. No slogans were chanted and no placards were raised, leading one online commentator to describe the event as the "revolution that never was".
The only overt act of dissent came from 25-year-old Liu Xiaobai who was stopped by police after he placed a white jasmine flower in front of the McDonald's restaurant and took 
some photos on his mobile phone.
Read more here
Not so calm according to Yahoo News:

China's domestic security chief said the government must find new ways to defuse unrest, underscoring Beijing's anxiety about control even after police squashed weekend calls for gatherings inspired by Middle East uprisings.Skip related content
Zhou Yongkang, the ruling Communist Party's top law-and-order official, told cadres they had to "adapt to new trends and imperatives in economic and social development," official newspapers reported on Monday.
"Strive to defuse conflicts and disputes while they are still embryonic," he told an official meeting on Sunday, the China Police Daily and other papers reported.
Over the weekend, Chinese police and censors showed the Communist Party has little to fear from protesters hoping to emulate the unrest that has swept the Middle East, unseating Egypt's long-time president, Hosni Mubarak, and now threatening Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi.
Police dispersed dozens of people who gathered in central Beijing and Shanghai on Sunday after calls spread on overseas Chinese websites urging "Jasmine Revolution" gatherings. The police and foreign reporters More hereoutnumbered aspiring participants 
and curious passers-by caught up in the More here:crowd.
Outside McDonald's, Beijing

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