Sunday, 27 February 2011
Jasmine tea at a Shanghai Starbucks
Those who had been quick to dismiss the possibility of a Chinese version of the Jasmine revolutions may have been given food for thought by today's events. Whilst reportedly the Harbin demo was a no-show and at least one reporter was beaten at the Beijing demo, the protest (if that is the right word for an event at which no-one seems to have said much) in Shanghai seems to have been well attended.
Whilst many of the people in the above picture may simply have been there out of interest to see what happened (kan-ing the renao as someone I know used to put it), it cannot now be said that such gatherings are impossible, or that no-one would be interested in such a gathering. It also appears highly unlikely that these protest are being organised as a provocation, despite my earlier suspicions to the contrary.
However, a small demonstration like this is a million miles from the kind of mass-movements which have rocked autocratic regimes in the Middle East, but it is a start.
[Picture: People gather outside the Starbucks near the Raffles City Mall in Central Shanghai, 27th of February, picture via @Singaporeano AKA Kenneth Tan]
Posted by Gilman Grundy at 01:57