The White Paper Protest

Photo by Ayala on Pexels.comhi

Chinese people are defying the rigid mandates of Xi Jinping to contend with the spread of Covid. And with good reason. The long quarantines have severely restricted mobility and curbed economic activity. They are choking the Chinese.
In Urumqi, in Xinjiang province, a province notorious for the repression of the Uyghur population, 10 died in a fire last Thursday, November 24th. The building was under quarantine and they couldn’t get out in time.
There is a beauty to seeing Chinese people protesting against their despotic regime, shouting proudly their opposition to their government’s draconian policies.
The demonstrations, which started in Urumqi, have spread to Shanghai and Beijing.
The Chinese have reason to ask why their leadership has not used the better vaccines produced in the West with MRNA technology – a point of pride getting in the way of the welfare of the people. And so, a full three years after the outbreak of the pandemic in Wuhan, not enough Chinese have been vaccinated which would have raised the level of immunity of the population and reduced the need for the overly restrictive quarantines.
The limitations of movement that come with the communist party’s zero covid policy have only been possible because of the severe curbs on freedom of speech.
There is no dialogue between the citizen and the government and the absurdity of their policies against covid is but one example.
The chosen symbol of the protests, a white sheet of paper, I take to symbolize that Chinese people feel they have no voice whatsoever. They are expected to obey and obey. The leadership has got all the answers.
But the protesters are stepping out in large numbers and saying, ‘enough is enough’.
Will this lead to even larger demonstrations?
My hope is that it will. If so, they need to brace themselves for brutal retaliation.
Xi Jinping and his supporters are now devising ways to crush dissent. ‘How dare this rabble raise their voices, how dare they think they even have a voice? I am their voice,’ will say the chairman.
The protests speak loudly of how the Chinese people have connected with their political courage. How they wish to exercise freedom as an essential means to counter excesses. How without such freedom the whims of those in power do not get scrutinized and questioned.
Some demonstrators may, perhaps, be satisfied with what measures are proposed to lessen the length and scope of current quarantines, but this movement, even in its early stages, is about much more than covid. It’s about asserting people’s rights to be heard and to select who will govern them.
The communist leadership sees that and it is frightened by it.
Who knows how far this movement will go but it is a start and the world needs to be fully supportive of it.
The winds of freedom are blowing. They are blowing from Ukraine. They have reached Iran and now China.
Putin may have already called Xi Jinping with words of advice. ‘Jinping… listen to me, I have experience. Repress… repress… and repress again. Like you did with the Uyghurs, like you did in Hong Kong, like you will do in Taiwan. Fear is good. It works. Please, no dialogue. I need you.’

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