Beijing rushes to adopt more security, tighten censorship of courageous ‘Bridgeman’ protests before convention


In front of all the cameras watching Beijing, a man dressed as a construction worker unfurled two banners on a flyover on October 13, announcing the end of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s strict zero-COVID policy and Xi Jinping’s move to China. requested to be eliminated as a nation of top leader.

The man was later identified by China Change. An information platform on human rights, rule of law, and civil society in China. China Change founder Yaxue Cao posted twitter On October 14th, the man was Peng Lifa, also known as Peng Zaizhou online.

Peng wrote on one of the banners: we want to eat I don’t want lockdown. we want freedom we don’t want to lie We want dignity. We don’t want a “Cultural Revolution”. we want reform. No leader needed. Vote required. We don’t want to be slaves. We want to be citizens. ”

On the other banner, Penn advocated a strike by students, teachers and workers. He also called for the removal of Xi Jinping, whom he called a “dictator and traitor.”

Video clips and photos of Mr. Peng holding up the banners and using loudspeakers to broadcast what he wrote on the two banners soon went viral in China and abroad. When Peng burned something like a tire to create smoke and drew the attention of passers-by, they could see smoke billowing from the Sitong Bridge.

The bridge is located in Haidian District, a downtown area in northwest Beijing, near Zhongguancun, China’s Silicon Valley, and home to several famous Chinese universities, including Peking University and Tsinghua University.

Peng was immediately arrested by the Beijing police. Since then, there has been no information regarding his whereabouts or safety, and we are concerned about his safety in China and abroad.

censorship

The Chinese government acted quickly to block information about the widespread online protests that took place just days before the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

In addition, it adds sensitive language to the administration’s already massive online censorship efforts.

Banner words and phrases, as well as expressions such as Sitongqiao, Beijing, Haidian (District), Banner, Brave, and Courage are censored from Chinese social media platforms.

People sharing photos and videos of the Penn protest have found their social accounts suspended or banned.

The word “I saw!” It was also banned on Chinese social media after people started using it to refer to protests.

according to Journalist China Change said his account was suspended for 60 days for simply saying “I saw it.”

A song titled “Sitong Bridge” has also been removed from Chinese online music platforms. according to In the Associate Press on Thursday.

Recruitment of bridge guards

Beijing authorities responded to one protester by immediately further increasing security around the Oct. 16 national convention.

Beijing’s local authorities have urgently put out an ad to recruit temporary security guards for the sole purpose of monitoring Beijing’s bridges. The title of these security guards is literally “bridge watcher” from the Chinese phrase.

The Chinese edition of The Epoch Times saw the job ad and reached out to several people for comment.

One of the staffing firms told The Epoch Times that they wanted only male bridge guards.

According to job postings, bridge guards’ daily wages range from 240 yuan ($33) to 360 yuan ($50). Applicants must be at least 5.5 feet tall and between 18 and 45 years of age. Tents will be provided on or under the bridge and work will be assigned. Usually she has two guards working together and can take turns resting.

Another recruitment agency told The Epoch Times it was looking for someone to watch the bridge all October. He said his agency needed about 20 people, but he knew of a few other agencies that at least wanted to hire 100 people.

Posts online show these guards wearing fluorescent vests that read “Chinese Militia”.

The staff of a recruitment agency told the Epoch Times that temporary security guards were constantly being recruited not only for the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, but also for the regular “maintenance of social stability” required by the regime. He said he does.

The Chinese government considers dissidents, religious groups, rights activists, veterans and petitioners to be members.destabilizationCritics say these groups are only destabilizing the regime’s tyrannical rule. spending most of its budget on cracking down on these people in China.

The Epoch Times reported in 2018 that the Chinese Communist Party spent more on domestic security than national defense in 2009, 2011 and 2013, and the administration’s Ministry of Finance stopped including such budgets in its total annual budget disclosures. reported. In 2013, the administration spent his $114 billion on national defense, while he spent $121 billion on domestic security.

Former Chinese journalist-turned-YouTuber Li Dayu, now based in the United States, said: Said A recent post said it was “ridiculous” for a communist regime to recruit “bridgewatchers.” Banners can also appear on other locations, such as walls, tree branches, and telephone poles. “How many more people do that? [the communist regime] must be hired? “In the future, we may also need to adopt ‘Wall Watchers’ and ‘Utility Pole Watchers,'” Li said in his latest show.

When the Epoch Times contacted the Haidian District Municipal Administration and Law Enforcement Bureau, a female staff member replied that it was the Xiao District office that was recruiting bridge guards. The Epoch Times has reached out to the Haidian District Office, but received no response as of press time.His Xisanqi Subdistrict Office, one of her offices in Haidian District, said that the bridges within its jurisdiction denied recruiting security guards to monitor the

radio free asia Posted On October 14, the governments of various districts in Beijing announced that they were urgently issuing advertisements to recruit “bridge watchers” to guard bridges in two shifts 24 hours a day.

Wang Dan, a former student leader of the peaceful student protests in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989, said: admired Protester Peng Lifa, as China’s new “tankman” or “bridgeman,” praised his courage to speak out and his quest for liberal democracy.

Peng’s online name “Caizhou” literally means “lift the boat” in English and is derived from an ancient Chinese proverb. Because they are the ones who overthrow them otherwise.

The 1989 student protests ended in a massacre by the Chinese government, which sent tanks and soldiers with live ammunition to crush students peacefully protesting in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Thousands are estimated to have died.

Xiao Luysheng, Hong Ning, and Zhang Ting contributed to this report.

Sophia Lam

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Sophia Lam will join Epoch Times in 2021 and cover China-related topics.