Well that’s nice – not just suppression and punishment of protest, not just breaking promises to citizens and the rest of the world alike, but a sadistic bait and switch into the bargain. ‘We’re having the Olympics; we’re in a cheerful and generous mood, so you can protest; here, we’ve even allocated three parks for the purpose, where you can protest. Have fun. We love you.’
At least a half dozen people have been detained by the authorities after they responded to a government announcement late last month designating venues in three city parks as “protest zones” during the Olympics. So far, no demonstrations have taken place.
Ah. Three parks. The Olympics almost two weeks old now. Half a dozen people or more ‘detained’ for taking the bait – and so far no demonstrations at all. Hmmm. Why that almost begins to sound as if the authorities don’t actually mean to allow any demonstrations to take place after all. It even begins to sound just a little bit as if all they ever intended was to lure people into applying for permission to demonstrate so that they could then exclaim ‘We didn’t mean you!’ and arrest them while laughing themselves into fits.
Xinhua, the state news agency, reported that 77 people had submitted protest applications, none of which had been approved. Xinhua, quoting a Public Security spokesperson, said all but three applicants had dropped their requests after their complaints had been “properly addressed by relevant authorities or departments through consultations.” The last three applications were rejected as incomplete or violating Chinese law.
Ah. 77 applications – and not one approved. Violating Chinese law – the one against protesting, no doubt. That announcement about the protest zones seems to have forgotten to mention that the law against protests is still in effect. Hahahahahahahaha – they’re a funny bunch, those Public Security jokers.
Gao Chuancai, a farmer from northeast China who was hoping to publicize government corruption, was forcibly escorted back to his hometown last week and remains in custody. Relatives of Zhang Wei, a Beijing resident who was also seeking to protest the demolition of her home, were told she would be kept at a detention center for a month. Two rights advocates from southern China have not been heard from since they were seized at the Public Security Bureau’s protest application office last week.
Two women in their late 70s have been sentenced to a year of “re-education through labor” after they repeatedly sought a permit to demonstrate in one of the official Olympic protest areas, according to family members and human rights advocates. The women, Wu Dianyuan, 79, and Wang Xiuying, 77, had made five visits to the police this month in an effort to obtain permission to protest what they contended was inadequate compensation for the demolition of their homes in Beijing. During their final visit, on Monday, Public Security officials informed them that they had been given administrative sentences for “disturbing the public order,” according to Li Xuehui, Wu’s son. Li said his mother and Wang, a former neighbor who is nearly blind, were allowed to return home but were told they could be sent to a detention center at any moment. “Can you imagine two old ladies in their 70s being re-educated through labor?” he asked.
No, I can’t! Stop with the jokes, you’re slaying me.