Fears are growing for the safety of ‘Wang’, the protester who led crowds calling for the end of Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party, who has not been seen since being dragged away by police following a viral video
- ‘Wang’, 27, reportedly hasn’t been seen since he was arrested at work on Sunday
- Wang led crowds chanting anti-communist slogans during the Shanghai protests
- Parents say no official paperwork has been issued for son’s arrest after viral video
A protester who led crowds calling for the abolition of the Communist Party of China and its leader Xi Jinping during China’s massive anti-lockdown protests has reportedly not been seen since he was arrested last weekend.
The 27-year-old man, known only as ‘Wang’, was last seen on Sunday after police arrested him at a bar where he works, the Telegraph reported.
Wang recently appeared in a viral video of protests in Shanghai, leading the crowd in their protest.
The video is the latest in a string of scenes leaked from China of nationwide protests against the country’s strict Covid measures, including one of protesters throwing bottles at riot police in southern Guangzhou province.
Demonstrators protesting coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions throw glass bottles at riot police in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China in this screenshot from a social media video released on Nov. 30, 2022
Residents confront workers in protective suits blocking the entrance to a housing complex amid a coronavirus outbreak in Shanghai, China, in this still image obtained from a social media video released on Nov. 30, 2022
In the video Wang stars in, he excites the crowd by shouting a series of questions as they answer.
He asks, “Xi Jinping?” to which the crowd shouts in response, “Down with him!” The crowd, too, gives the same answer to the question, “Communist Party?”
Wang’s parents told the Telegraph there was no paperwork for their son’s arrest, and they didn’t seem comfortable explaining what their son had done in the video.
Such public incitement is extremely rare in China, a country that tightly controls nearly every aspect of the lives of its 1.4 billion citizens through censorship, surveillance and propaganda.
Self-censorship is also common, as people try to be careful about what they say to each other in public — online or in person — out of fear, reprisal, or punishment.
China’s censors were recently overwhelmed when they tried to erase images of blank sheets of white paper used by protesters in the growing number of demonstrations against President Xi Jinping’s zero-Covid policy from the internet.
The country is currently facing its largest anti-government protests since the Tiananmen Square massacre, with protesters in at least seven cities holding up blank sheets of paper to symbolize censorship.
Protesters hold up pieces of paper as a symbol against censorship and China’s strict zero Covid measures on November 27, 2022
Protesters have taken to the streets of Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan and Nanjing in an unprecedented wave of dissent to demonstrate against President Xi, his oppressive Covid actions and increasingly authoritarian rule.
Online discussions and coverage of the demonstrations have now been banned, with security forces deployed to the streets of the country’s major cities last night.
Chinese soccer fans have even been fed a censored feed of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar as Communist authorities desperately try to prevent images of large, unmasked crowds from reaching locals as protests rage against the harsh Covid measures.
A comparison of footage from the Cup shows that broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) intercepted the tournament footage and manipulated crowd photos by using a 30-second delay.