Protest in China Cities Over Covid Lockdown

Protest in China Cities Over Covid Lockdown

Several Cities across China from capital Beijing in the north to Urumqi in the west have witnessed widespread protests against COVID-19 lockdowns imposed by the government, which shows rising public anger over the stringent measures.

Over 40,000 daily Corona cases are being reported from various cities, where unprecedented public protests are being witnessed despite heavy censorship and the government’s attempts to manage the situation.


The sudden outburst started after a fire in an apartment building in Xinjiang capital Urumqi killed at least 10 people — the delay in extinguishing the fire was widely seen as a result of more than three month-long lockdown measures in the western Xinjiang region. Social media carries videos of residents protesting on in front of a government office. Xinjiang is also where a significant Uyghur population (an ethnic minority in China) resides. Many international organisations and governments in the West have alleged over the years that the treatment of Uyghurs amounts to a severe human rights violations at the hand of the Chinese government.

The Urumqi fire was among the most discussed topics on Chinese social media on Friday and Saturday, triggering an outpouring of anger on tightening COVID-19 measures as the country faces a record number of cases.


Soon after reports of the fire and protests gripped Urumqi , Chinas’s largest city Shanghai. Also witnessed similar demonstrations. People gathered at one of Beijing’s most prestigious universities. Candlelight vigils for the Urumqi victims took place at universities in other cities as well.

Videos from Shanghai showed crowds facing the police and chanting “Serve the people”, “We want freedom”, and “We don’t want health codes”.

In Lanzhou in the Northwest, residents upturned Covid staff tents and smashed testing booths. Protesters said they were put under lockdown even though no one had tested positive. Nanjing in the east, Guangzhou in the south and at least five other cities showed protesters tussling with police.


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