Hundreds Gather In Brooklyn To Support Ai Weiwei And Freedom Of Expression

Brooklyn free expression - Ai Weiwei
PEN America organized a protest called "Take a Stand for Free Expression in China: An Evening of Literary Protest" last Thursday, April 10, in front of the Brooklyn Public Library in New York. Ai Weiwei was more or less the face of the event, attended by several hundreds of people / bored Brooklynites, which was also had the purpose of raising awareness of persecuted Chinese writers. Art Daily reports that Ai Weiwei appeared via video message to thank his supporters.

No Survivors On MH370, Says Malaysian PM, Sparking Sanctioned Protest In Beijing

MH370 headlines in black and white
In a televised statement on Monday at Lido Hotel in Beijing, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which has now been missing for 18 days, likely "ended in the southern Indian Ocean." After his statement, family and friends of MH370 passengers were reportedly notified by text that "none of those on board have survived."

Wuhan Students Demonstrate For Dignified Treatment Of China’s Sex Workers

Students in Wuhan protest Dongguan sex workers exposure
Four female students from Wuhan University in Hubei province demonstrated on February 14 to call for respect for sex workers in China. One student held up a pair of underpants as a metaphor for the Big Underpants building in Beijing, i.e. the headquarters of China Central Television (CCTV), which has been pejoratively called "CCAV" (AV being adult video) by Chinese netizens.

Lanzhou Workers Threaten Suicide To Claim Unpaid Wages

Six men threaten to jump off building due to unpaid wages
Confrontations over unpaid wages are common in China, especially in the run-up to the lunar new year (it falls on January 31 this year), as this is often the only time when migrant workers can return home. Many fear they'll never be paid if they leave the city while still owed money. But to get paid, some have to resort to extreme measures.

Petitioner’s Tales: The Complaints You’re Not Supposed To Hear

China's State Bureau of Letters and Calls in Beijing
For those who have been wronged in China, the last best chance for official redress is at the State Bureau of Letters and Calls in Beijing. When all other options fail, this is where the people go -- and they do, by the thousands, every year, sometimes with little more than a handwritten complaint.

Jiangmen Protest Successful As City Scraps Plans To Build Uranium Plant

Jiangmen protest of uranium power plant
Hundreds of residents staged a not-in-my-backyard protest in Jiangmen, Guangdong province on Friday to oppose plans to build a uranium processing plant. SCMP reports that the protest, a restrained and civil affair, was largely organized via social media. The uranium complex, featuring three 30-hectare plants, would have been the nation's biggest, reports NY Times.

Today Is National Protest Day In Hong Kong

Hong Kong July 1 protest
July 1, 1997 marked the handover of Hong Kong from Great Britain to the People's Republic of China, and every July 1 since, hundreds to thousands of people have marched in this city. Since 2003, as this Wikipedia entry informs, the number has sometimes been hundreds of thousands (though, because Hong Kong is terrible with big-number estimates, we never have an exact figure.) This year? "A massive protest is expected," reports Wall Street Journal. On the docket: direct elections and the resignation of chief executive Leung Chun-ying.

Scenes From Hong Kong’s Rally For Edward Snowden

Snowden rally in Hong Kong 1
"A few hundred" people showed up to a pro-Edward Snowden rally in Hong Kong on Saturday, the city where the NSA whistleblower is believed to still be residing. Reports Reuters: Marchers gathered outside the U.S. consulate shouting slogans denouncing alleged spying operations aimed at China and Hong Kong, but the numbers were modest compared to rallies over other rights and political issues. "Arrest Obama, free Snowden," protesters shouted outside the slate grey building as police looked on. Many waved banners that said: "Betray Snowden, betray freedom", "Big brother is watching you" and "Obama is checking your email".

Anti-PX Protests Happening In Kunming Right Now

Anti-PX protest via Brian Eyler
A huge crowd has gathered on Kunming's Renmin Road for an environmental protest, the second time this month that residents have gathered to voice their opposition to proposed production of a toxic chemical from a nearby factory. The first such "Anti-PX" protest in Kunming was on May 4, after China National Petroleum Corporation announced plans to build a chemical plant in nearby Anning to produce 500,000 tons of paraxylene (PX), according to Global Voices. Brian Eyler of East by Southeast recently wrote about the government's response to such protests, a reponse that, judging by what's happening right now, was not satisfactory.

In The Eye Of The (Relatively Calm) Jingwen Protest In Beijing [UPDATE]

Jingwen Shopping Mall protest in Beijing 7
At the start of this POV video taken at Wednesday's protest near Jingwen Shopping Mall in Beijing's Fengtai District, the people chant kangyi, "protest." As a collective they rock back and forth, like a wave. It surges in fits and starts, apparently toward uniformed officers. There is safety in numbers -- civilians outnumber cops -- so individuals feel little hesitancy to shout whatever they please. But there is also a kind of muted chaos.