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Monday, February 21, 2011

China democracy protests a sign of days to come

"We want food, we want work, we want housing, we want fairness"

Chinese human rights lawyer beaten for supporting democracy protests

Chinese human rights lawyer Liu Shihui was hooded and beaten by five men as he left his home to go to a protest planned in the southern city of Guangzhou. Responding to a call for a “Jasmine Revolution” posted on Chinese-language news site called Boxun.com, authorities in China detained activists, sent police into the streets, and cut off some text-messaging services. Demonstrators were advises to chant, "We want food, we want work, we want housing, we want fairness," at a location in Shanghai and 11 other cities.

The turnout was low because the Boxun.com website was attacked by hackers after it posted the call. Boxun.com is censored in China, as are Twitter and Facebook. Anywhere between several dozen and more than 100 activists were detained ahead of the protests, human-rights groups estimate, and searches for “jasmine” were blocked on China’s Twitter-like microblog.

The Government of China censored Internet postings about the call to stage protests in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Nanjing and 9 other major Chinese cities.

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