Protest in China against strict Covid containment measures has come to a halt. Police took to the streets in force, surrounded and guarded protest sites, set up barricades, made arrests, and also conducted checks on the configuration of apps and VPNs.
It happened in Beijing and Shanghai, where the police presence materialized in some areas indicated on Telegram as possible meeting places for new demonstrations. And in the southern city of Hangzhou, a demonstration last night was quickly dispersed and several people were arrested, according to the BBC, citing photos on social media.
Even some journalists covering the protests have been arrested: on Sunday, a Reuters correspondent was held for a short time before being released, then the BBC’s Ed Lawrence was held for several hours, a “shocking and unacceptable” fact highlighted by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
Censorship hit Chinese social media: tens of millions of posts were filtered, while the media replaced news about Covid with articles about the World Cup and the results of Chinese space missions. The situation is different on Western social platforms, which some Chinese have used to share information and advice targeting protesters to avoid arrest.
Meanwhile, the protests spread to Hong Kong, where dozens were present in the city center square and on the campus of the Chinese University, as well as in front of the Chinese embassies in London, Paris and Tokyo, and in American and European universities. .
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