China Quashes Calls for a ‘Jasmine Revolution’ on Sunday

China has cracked down on activists calling for demonstrations in 12 cities on Sunday for a ‘Jasmine Revolution’ inspired by the protests throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The source of the call for these rallies was unknown and some have speculated that it might be ‘”performance art” instead of a serious move in the footsteps” of uprisings in Egypt, Bahrain, and elsewhere.  At least one Chinese activist points out that the Chinese government’s crackdown shows the extent to which it fears such activity.


The Associated Press reports:

The source of the call was not known, but authorities moved to halt its spread online, and police detained at least 14 people, by one activist’s count. Searches for the word “jasmine” were blocked Saturday on China’s largest Twitter-like microblog, and the website where the request first appeared said it was hit by an attack.

Activists seemed not to know what to make of the call to protest, even as they passed it on. They said they were unaware of any known group being involved in the request for citizens to gather in 13 cities and shout, “We want food, we want work, we want housing, we want fairness.”

The call for the protest was originally posted on the US-based Chinese language website Boxun which was not available for some of Saturday. A post on February 19th mentions the ‘Jasmine Revolution’ (茉莉花革命) and also the ‘revolution craze’ in the Middle East and the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. The website states that ‘Boxun has no way to verify the background of this and did not participate’; it has reported being attacked and has a temporary site up:

“This is the most serious denial of service attack we have received,” it said in a statement. “We believe the attack is related to the Jasmine Revolution proposed on Feb. 20 in China.”

The Chinese government has been ‘unnerved’ by the protests in the Middle East and ‘appeared to be treating the protest call seriously.’ It has also been on guard after the release of a video documenting the house arrest that one of China’s best-known activist lawyers, Chen Guangcheng, and his wife, Yuan Weijing, have been subjected to for five months. Chen and his wife were reportedly were beaten after the video was made public, and some of Chen’s supporters say they have been detained or beaten by authorities after meeting to discuss his case.

Quoting activist Su Yutong, who now lives in Germany, the Associated Press, noted that ‘even if Chinese authorities suspect the call to protest wasn’t serious, Saturday’s actions showed they still feared it.’ On her Twitter feed, Su posted that some 14 activists have been ‘taken away,’ and notes that that count is incomplete.

But one can’t help thinking of the protests in Tiananmen in June of 1989.


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Will President Obama Pressure China on Human Rights?

Image of Cairo Gadah & Tiananmen Tank Man Diptych - Cairo Egypt, January 25 2011 by HiMY SYeD.


Blaise G.
Blaise G6 years ago would be interesting to see the present Chinese government fall. I guess Chinese Government Propaganda must be fairly strong, otherwise the Chinese people would have long ago restructured their very corrupt, yet powerful government and its obviously deeply corrupt military.

Hmmm...not unlike our government and its military. Interesting times we live in...yes?

ewoud k.
ewoud k6 years ago

An uprising in a 1.1 billion strong country will -no doubt- end in a big mess, bt this uprising will come one day, and the harder the Chinese government clashes down slight moves towards some minor form of democracy -which at the moment is absent in China- the sooner this uprising will come.

There are parallells with Tunesia and Egypt: lot's of young people, well educated, but underpayd, acces to internet and thus the outside world ....

IF the chinese government doesn't give some room to the demands for more democracy, they won't last long.

Lazord Drozal
Lazord D6 years ago

I won't fight for those stupid human rights created by the Illuminati.

I will fight for dignity and freedom.


Allison M.
Allison Mark6 years ago

Thanks, I think we will pull through

Manuel Duarte
Manuel Duarte6 years ago

Thanks for the info

Scott Vonwolf
Scott haakon6 years ago

We in the west need to learn from Chinese history. It does make sense to quell uprisings. We live in a Republic not a democracy. We also have a thousand years of trial and error to get to this stage. The system we have know for generations. Remember the Red Guard? The Chinese do. Those students ran wild causing damage if you had lived through that the attitude would be very different.

Barbara Erdman
Barbara Erdman6 years ago


Mike P.
Mike P6 years ago

@Micha Shepher: I guess you haven't heard of the appalling conditions that a large majority of Chinese workers are being captured in. The whole reason that the World's big corporations have decided to concentrate many of their production in China is because they don't have human rights comparable to what we have in the West. This has allowed people like the workers who build i players to be kept in what can only be classed as "concentration camps" (ie they aren't allowed to leave and are forced to work ridiculous hours for their $1/day). Not surprisingly the suicide rate amongst these workers is very high. But the Chinese regime can get away with it because they are brutal and absolute in their treatment of anyone who trys to rock their greedy boat. To judge the mood of a people by simply looking at their GDP is very naive and does nothing to highlight where all this newly created wealth is concentrated and what methods are being used to police it. The mood that fueled the protests at Tianamen square all those years ago has not dissipated with growth in GDP (unless you believe the media in the West) it simply went underground and festered. So in conclusion there is definitely a mood of stagnation and disenchantment within China like there is in the Middle East. We will not have to wait for the middle classes to grow and shift things because their success depends on the enslavement of millions. The whole world is in a mess and I hope that peaceful protests will win.

Micha Shepher
Micha Shepher6 years ago

There is an enormous difference between the protests in the middle east and in China.
In the middle east what has triggered the revolt is not human rights or democracy, but rather a harsh reality of stagnation, economic hardship, rising food prices and corruption.

There is no such thing in China. People are getting richer, the country is advancing and growing and most people are very content with their regime. There will come a time when the middle class in China would overthrow the dictatorship without protest and without violence. This time has not arrived. Don't worry too much about China, they are doing a far better job than we in the west.

Mike P.
Mike P6 years ago

@Marilyn L The UK is one of the G20 countries that is conning the world that I mentioned. My comments do not reflect my feelings towards the American people who innocently believe, like most people in the UK, what they are spoon fed by their big business controlled government and media. So I think you mistook my comments as an attack on the USA. Yes the UK has an appalling historical record of controlling other nations too but is now a small player in this malicious game. What the USA has been in the name of promoting democracy, whilst at the same time promoting big business, is much more destructive to the biosphere and people than what has gone before. Also the UK as well as many other G8 coutries misguidedly used the excuse of bringing "civilization" and superior standards of living to undeveloped nations to cover up their business gains and exploitation of these countries resources. There was, arguably, some increase in standards of living at these times. The USA uses the excuse that it is trying to bring freedom and democracy to these countries when in fact it brings the illusion of freedom and democracy and actually sucks the life blood out of the exploited countries using the WTO and International Monetary fund as economic weapons. There is never any improving of infrastructure and peoples lives in the countries that the USA "helps" except the minimum that are needed to provide infrastructure and slave labour to big business so it can export the gains asap.