Under the harsh Zero-COVID policy, many cities in China are still closed even though residents have protested many times.

Suddenly, the Shanghai government announced that starting from June 1, the city would gradually reopen work and production after a two-months lockdown. But after the so-called gradual re-opening of the lockdown, hard quarantines continued in about half the city as if the lockdown had never ended. 

Shanghainese and businesses are still subjected to strict pandemic restrictions. This includes compound lockdown, centralized quarantine, limited business operations, and regular PCR tests.

Small business owners complain as strict Covid measures make them struggle to make a living. 

According to Nikkei Asia, some shopkeepers said they were only allowed to function if they did not leave their stores and exclusively served internet customers.

So, on Monday, June 13, many people took to the street in front of shopping stores in Shanghai’s most renowned wholesale center to request rent refunds. 

The merchants expect a six-month rent waiver, a privilege reserved for state-owned companies only.

They marched along Qipu Road, which has Shanghai’s largest and most profitable clothing wholesale market.

Clothing retailers were holding boards and banners; they shouted for rent relief. Some read, “No rent return, no open doors.”

The demonstration initially saw some police officers calmly watching the crowd without any apparent intention to stop them.

However, due to the suppression that followed, as seen by videos posted on social media, it seems they weren’t simply there to observe.

Violent law enforcement! Violent law enforcement! The police hit someone!

Don’t make videos! Back off, back off!

In another area of Shanghai city, another protest also took place.

At the Changle Road, a black shirt man is behind the green “hard isolation” fence surrounding Lane 339. 

The speaker voice said that he witnessed how unknown security forces have harassed his community. The official staff illegally locked his community in the early morning of June 4. That night, the unknown forces dressed in white, with faces covered and no identification, went from door to door, violently smashing doors, until late at night. 

After that, the police dispersed the surrounding people.

Some epidemic staff in white suits asked the citizens not to take pictures, and some citizens responded: “You are exercising public authority, you know? It is our private right to take pictures here. Why’re we not even allowed to take pictures?!”

“The camera can be broken, people’s hearts can’t be broken, and eyes can’t be damaged. Today’s us are tomorrow’s you.”

After the police came to talk to the man, he was arrested. Some people shouted: 

“Why to arrest people?! What power do you have to arrest people?!”

Finally, the man was taken into the police car.

“Freedom, democracy, equality, and the rule of law!” 

Like Shanghai, Dandong city, in Liaoning Province, was also closed in April until the lockdown was lifted in June.

During the lockdown, many Dandong residents uploaded videos asking for attention and assistance, but none have gained public attention or response from authorities.

Moreover, netizens found that 99% of the comments under citizens’ videos came from Liaoning residents. There were no comments from users from other places. Therefore, people suspect the internet is blocked, and information is highly censored, especially in other regions.

Unable to put their anger into words, citizens choose to protest collectively.

They put up banners, chanted slogans against nucleic acid testing, and asked to resume work and production.

Dandong has been closed for too long, and the community residents gathered to demand that the local government lift the lockdown.

In another community, people waited for too long but received no response. So they opened the gate to step out.

Some even lifted the barricades on their own.

Locked down longer than Shanghai, residents in Dongxing city, Guangxi province, have been closed for more than three months. Therefore, A protest broke out on June 5 after city authorities sought to prolong the lockdown as new COVID cases appeared. 

Other residents gathered in front of the Vienna International Hotel shouting, “We have no money.” 

Dozens of police officers were sent to confront the protesters. After that, some residents clashed with the police.

The Chinese cannot bear several months of closure without work, income, and supplies. When learning that they received no suitable response, they protested to demand their rights.

Meanwhile, government employees who work in epidemic prevention protested to demand their rights and salary in Shanghai.

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.