Public anger in China towards continuing COVID-19 lockdowns has sparked rare protests in a number of major cities. The latest demonstrations were prompted by a fatal fire in a high-rise apartment block in the north-western Xinjiang region
China is the only major country still fighting COVID with lockdowns and mass testing but, after living with extreme restrictions for months, many citizens have had enough.
Sunday 27 November 2022 19:06, UK Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player 0:53 Why you can trust Sky News People protesting against China's strict COVID lockdowns returned to the streets of Shanghai despite being forcibly removed by police using pepper spray only a few hours earlier.More Parts of China Battle Covid and Threats of Lockdown as Cases Spike Again About 300 demonstrators gathered late Saturday in Shanghai, most of whose 25 million people were confined to their homes for almost two months starting in late March.Victoria Macdonald Health and Social Care Editor Protests over Covid lockdowns have continued in China, with residents in the capital of the western Xinjiang province taking to the streets to demand a loosening of the rules.Image: Pic: AP Mr Zhao said protesters yelled slogans including"Xi Jinping, step down, Communist Party, step down","Unlock Xinjiang, unlock China","do not want PCR (tests), want freedom" and"press freedom".
In what Amnesty International described as a move of"remarkable bravery", people objecting to the continuing confinement of millions of people - for weeks at a time - gathered again at the same spot.One said Beijing's COVID policy was a"game", while another demanded"basic human rights".Another group, according to a protester who insisted on anonymity, was more active, shouting slogans and singing the national anthem.Their anger was ignited by a fire in the city of Urumqi on Thursday which killed at least 10 people.It is feared residents were unable to escape from a tower block engulfed in flames because of President Xi Jinping's continuing zero COVID policy.Like others who spoke to the AP, the protesters didn't want to be identified due to fear of arrest or retaliation.A candlelight vigil on Shanghai's Wulumuqi Road, which is named after Urumqi, led to demonstrations."That tragedy could have happened to any of us.
Protesters held up blank sheets of paper as an expression of their anger, while some called on the Communist Party to step down.Some called for an official apology for the deaths in the fire in Urumqi in the Xinjiang region.The protests have spread to about 50 universities, according to the AP news agency.Many Chinese cities have been under strict lockdown for months - many of Urumqi's four million residents, for example, have been unable to leave their homes for any reason since August.“Everyone thinks that Chinese people are afraid to come out and protest, that they don’t have any courage,” said the protester, adding it was his first time demonstrating.Advertisement Officials deny that the deaths in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang province, were caused by the lockdown policy.And a fire department spokesperson inspired further anger after appearing to blame residents for not being able to"rescue themselves".But then when I went there, I found that the environment was such that everyone was very brave.Xinjiang, home to China's persecuted Uyghur minority, has experienced some of the country's longest lockdown restrictions, with reports of people left starving earlier in the year.
But protesters were scathing."We just want our basic human rights," said one in Shanghai who did not want to be identified.Hundreds of police broke up the more active group before they came for the second as they tried to move people off the main street."We can't leave our homes without getting a test.It was the accident in Xinjiang that pushed people too far.Zhao said one of his friends was beaten by police and two were pepper-sprayed." Another demonstrator, Shaun Xiao, said China's COVID policy is"a game and not based on science or reality".
In Beijing, a group chanted:"We don't want masks, we want freedom.He said protesters yelled slogans, including one that has become a rallying cry: “(We) do not want PCR (tests), but want freedom." Amnesty International UK said:"The tragedy of the Urumqi fire has inspired remarkable bravery across China."It is virtually impossible for people in China to protest peacefully without facing harassment and prosecution.People stood and filmed as police shoved people."These unprecedented protests show that people are at the end of their tolerance of excessive COVID-19 restrictions." In Shanghai, in videos shared on social media and verified by Sky News the protesters were seen chanting slogans including"Xi Jinping, step down, Communist Party, step down","Unlock Xinjiang, unlock China","do not want PCR (tests), want freedom" and"press freedom".There was no sign of shields or other riot gear.
Image: Image: Pic: AP A protester who gave only his family name, Zhao, told The Associated Press that one of his friends was beaten by police and two friends were pepper sprayed.He said police stomped on his feet as he tried to stop them from taking his friend away.“The lockdown policy is so strict,” said a protestor, who would give only his surname, Li.He lost his shoes in the process, and left the protest barefoot.Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player 2:06 Sky News witnesses Shanghai protest Read more: Lockdown frustration grows in China's epicentre Reuters reported it had seen a video showing Beijing residents in an unidentifiable part of the city marching around an open-air carpark on Saturday shouting"end the lockdown".We have to find a way out.Sean Li, a resident of Beijing, told Reuters that a planned lockdown for his compound was called off on Friday after residents spotted workers putting barriers on their gates.
The residents had protested to their local leader and convinced him to cancel the plans.About 2,000 students at Xi’s alma mater, Tsinghua University in Beijing, gathered to demand an easing of anti-virus controls, according to social media posts.Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player 1:24 China protests: 'People are really upset' Mr Li said:"The Urumqi fire got everyone in the country upset."That tragedy could have happened to any of us.The protesters left after the university’s deputy Communist Party secretary promised to hold a school-wide discussion." Read more: Who are the Uyghur people and why do they face oppression by China? There were protests in Urumqi on Friday night when a vigil for fire victims turned into an anti-lockdown demonstration.People chanted"open up, open up" in videos that were shared on social media before being deleted by censors on Saturday.The Associated Press could not verify that all those protests took place or where.
But the protesters won some concessions, with parts of the city deemed low risk being given a bit more freedom from restrictions during the weekend.Spreaker.“The tragedy of the Urumqi fire has inspired remarkable bravery across China,” the group’s regional director, Hanna Young, said in a statement.
习近平下台 滚蛋 You can only push people so far. Note to governments: You work FOR the people, and much as you may have temporary delusions of grandeur, you remain at their grace. DownIoadBot There was so public anger in the UK against continued covid lockdowns, while the politicians broke their own rules...later to be called 'guidance'
Why didn't you support the British people when they protested against the exact same thing? Where there is oppression, there is resistance Stand with us. Please support china democracy.Long live freedom china! 中国不是百姓之中国，中国为权贵之中国。中国之未来在于建设民主制度，建立由公民选举为基础，权力机构互相制衡的体系，其中司法系统必须独立运行。建设公民社会，缩小贫富差距，结束教育垄断。开放新闻自由，出版自由，学术自由，言论自由等等民权。打倒独夫民贼习近平！打倒独裁腐败共产党政权！
No more stupid, No more ignorance , No more anti-science. Xi step down, CCP step down The lockdown measures are really terrible. They locked fire engine accesses with the Chains to prevent people get out of the building. And the government said the reason why that ten people were died in the fire that their ability to save themselves is too weak.
theres still lockdown measures there
Crowd Angered by Anti-COVID Lockdowns Calls for China's Xi to Step DownChina is the only major country still trying to stop transmission of COVID-19. Its “zero COVID” strategy has suspended access to neighborhoods for weeks at a time, and people's patience appears to be wearing thin. Pay attention people. This is real life.
4245333334 theres still lockdown measures there just similar protest happened in Australia last year ...but these reporters had no problem with that 🤦🏾♂️ You know something is up when Western journalists are being allowed to document this all from inside China (never happens). The One Global order is putting the sheep exactly where they want the....
CHINA BAD! But weren’t UK protesters beaten? How many died in the UK because of lockdown? RachelSJohnson HYPOCRISY Surprised tht the amount of ppl cannot overwhelm the police. Handcuff the police hands together,instead of running away turn around & chase them & rope them together. I thought you hated anti-lockdown protestors and spent 2 years trying to unseat a government because they didn't impose them harshly enough. What changed?
Lockdown protests spread across China amid record Covid casesProtests over Covid lockdowns have continued in China, with residents in the capital of Xinjiang province taking to the streets to demand a loosening of the rules. vsmacdonald reports. vsmacdonald Enough already.
Good on em stick two fingers up at em Remember when Sam Coates used to cream himself at the thought of another lockdown? Giga Shanghai is ok? elonmusk, maybe it is worth overestimating the risks of locating production in autocracies? Weird that you're covering these protests but ignored all the ones that happened in the UK/Europe in the past few years. 🙄
Rare protests in China as fatal fire collides with zero-COVID fatigueChina is the only major country still fighting COVID with lockdowns and mass testing but, after living with extreme restrictions for months, many citizens have had enough. You Losers SkyNews I Don't Care
Covid protests widen in China after Urumqi fireVideos on social media appear to show some protesters asking leader Xi Jinping to resign. NO 1 Cares You BBC News UK Losers Stop Talking China DO You Understand Stop Taking About China
China protests turn violent as zero-Covid anger spreads\n\t\t\tKeep abreast of significant corporate, financial and political developments around the world.\n\t\t\tStay informed and spot emerging risks and opportunities with independent global reporting, expert\n\t\t\tcommentary and analysis you can trust.\n\t\t How come everybody is silent on this! This happened in America please don't try to smear China
Covid protests spread across China after lockdown blamed for apartment block fire deathsA fire on Thursday that killed 10 people has sparked a wave of demonstrations