Hundreds of Folks at Harvard, NYC, and Chicago Protest Against The China Federal Government by Chanting the Slogan “Step down, Xi Jinping”
Protesters calling for China‘s leader to resign in the face of stringent anti-virus regulations drew hundreds to Harvard University and the areas outside the Chinese consulates in New York and Chicago on Tuesday in the largest demonstrations against the government in Beijing in years.
Roughly fifty demonstrators, primarily students at the prestigious Ivy League school, screamed slogans in Chinese and English, such as “We are not slaves; we are citizens!”
We want elections, not dictatorships.” As well as “Resign now, Xi Jinping,” a reference to the current president of China.
Many of those who had assembled before the statue of the university’s namesake, John Harvard, hid their identities under masks, not because they were afraid of Covid-19 but because they were worried that their families back home would be punished if Chinese officials recognized them.
A Harvard graduate student from China participating in the demonstration named Wayne did not want his full name used due to fear for his family members’ safety. He said his family members could be harassed or even lose their jobs due to his participation.
Around two hundred protesters gathered in front of the Chinese consulate in Chicago
Roughly 400 people gathered across the street from the Chinese consulate in New York City, carrying signs reading “Citizen Dignity Freedom” and “Free China.” Around two hundred protesters gathered in front of the Chinese consulate in Chicago. While others shouted, “We don’t want food. We want PCR tests!” Both “We don’t want a dictator, we want votes!” and “We do not want a dictator!”
Chinese protesters have used flower offerings, candlelight vigils, and covering their faces with signs, masks, and blank sheets of paper as a symbol of resistance against government censorship. A 21-year-old man in a hazmat suit said, “I came because I want to do whatever I can to help my people. These suits are worn by those in China who give the mandatory Covid-19 tests.”
Since her parents are both members of the Chinese Communist Party, she fears for their safety if she is publicly identified as anything other than a performance artist.
“They’d be quite scared” if they found out she was protesting, she said.
Protests have occurred in at least eight cities across mainland China and Hong Kong due to the Chinese government’s stringent “zero-Covid” strategy. They were called the largest demonstrations since the pro-democracy movement in Tiananmen Square in 1989, which was spearheaded by students.
Protests in support of the Chinese people have already taken place or are planned at several US campuses
Several Chinese institutions have sent their students home, and police have spread out across Beijing and Shanghai to prevent further demonstrations. The number of those held by security authorities is unknown, and they have also increased their monitoring efforts.
Protests in support of the Chinese people have already taken place or are planned at several US campuses, including Columbia University, which also organized a march on Monday.
Flowers were left at the base of the statue in Harvard Yard, a popular tourist destination, to remember the ten people who perished in a fire in northwest China last week, whose deaths were partly attributed to the country’s stringent anti-virus regulations.
An uncovered Brabeeba Wang, formerly of Harvard but currently studying neurology at the nearby Massachusetts Institute of Technology, played violin during the song. Wang, originally from Taiwan, remarked, “It’s amazing to watch people struggle for their freedom and freedom of speech.”
He praised the Chinese demonstrators as “courageous” for taking on the authorities head-on.