After a period of tension because of the prolonged blockade as a measure to prevent the epidemic, the Chinese people began to revolt and found their freedom. The “self-unlocking” movement has broken out in many places with certain achievements.
After two months of the highly harsh blockade in Shanghai, with enough suffering from the blockade and control, people in many places rebelled. The residents of the Huixianju community in the Xuhui district have announced that they will “remove the blockade themselves.” There is information on China’s Weibo network that many other residents in the Xuhui and Jing’an districts have started following in this movement’s footsteps.
On May 23, a video of the Huixianju residence declaring their “self-unlocking” was circulated online. In the video, a woman holding a megaphone in her hand, shouting that the Huixianju residence is already a COVID-19-free area, meeting Shanghai’s official standards for lifting the blockade. On that account, we declare “unblocking the blockade” from now on “free in and out.” Residents at the scene also responded with cheers and applause.
Those who shared the video also tweeted that currently, the residents of some residences in the Xuhui and Jing’an districts have begun to “self-unlock,” and the movement is growing in Shanghai.
The Huixianju Residence, the first to declare to “self-unlock,” is a residence with mid-to-high-end apartments in the Xuhui district. NTDTV, citing information on Weibo, said that many foreigners in this residential area are unwilling to cooperate with the government’s brutal blockade. Not long ago, the government wanted to install isolation panels in residential areas but had to desist because of fierce opposition from foreigners.
According to online sources, the Huixianju residential area has met the official standards for lifting the blockade. However, the neighborhood committee has not issued the access cards and has still locked the residence gates with iron chains. On May 22, residents in the area began communicating with each other via WeChat and decided to go down to the yard to “ask for an explanation.” Under the guidance of the foreigners, they gathered at the gate of the dormitory to ask for the door to be opened. Fearing a “riot,” the staff had to open the door. Hundreds of residents then rushed out, shouting, “finally released.”
The residents then rushed out to walk to the neighborhood office on Hunan Road to “ask for an explanation” and demand the blockade be lifted. However, the office staff said someone had come out of the makeshift hospital before the isolation period and returned to the facility on the 19th. At the same time, the residents of the facility did not 100% comply with the nucleic acid testing procedure and hence are not meeting the criteria to lift the blockade. However, they (the office of the residential group) could not present the relevant official documents requested by the people.
The resident representatives accused the grassroots officials of ‘arbitrary handling’ with unreasonable measures. They asked the office to present government documents by the morning of the 23rd or issue the ‘access cards’ for the residents. If it is not possible to do both, they will remove the blockade on their own and go in and out freely.
The information regarding the ‘self-unlocking’ of the Huixianju residential area was then widely spread and was followed by many other residential areas.
According to NTDTV, many netizens praised the protest action of the people of Shanghai. However, some netizens are concerned that the movement could lead to a crackdown by the Chinese military and police.
Not only in Shanghai, where many people from the middle and upper classes are concentrated but in Jiangyin district, Wuxi city, Jiangsu province, people have also successfully “unlocked” themselves.
Jiangyin has had no new COVID-19 cases for many days, so production activities have resumed. However, the border area between Jiangyin County and Changzhou City has not been lifted, leading to the fact that students in these two areas cannot go to school. People cannot go to work, making them highly dissatisfied. On May 21, residents in this border area gathered to protest, demanding that the government lift the blockade.
On the same day, several videos were circulated on Weibo showing that many people gathered at the intersection between Jiangyin and Changzhou shouting “unblockade,” and police cars also rushed to the scene.
On May 22, a resident in Jiangyin revealed to Aboluowang, “We are blocked by two iron fences between Jiangyin and Changzhou! This checkpoint has been operating continuously since March 13. The mayor of Huangtu town on May 22, when passing through the checkpoint, said that ‘things temporarily remains unchanged, wait for an announcement in detail.’ When he was about to leave, hundreds of thousands of us followed him, and I thought to myself: ‘if he changed his job, it would be good for us to see him off like this’. Today we wants to stop his car because we think he can fix this.”
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the early morning of May 4 in Jiangyin County of Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province, the authorities decided to enforce the blockade and control with the statement “close the area, people do not leave the house, there will be door-to-door service,” and the access control station is also open 24 hours a day.