Demonstration Parks Cease to Function
According to a Xinhua news report, the three demonstration parks in Beijing will officially cease to function after having serve its purpose during the two Olympic games.
The three parks in downtown Beijing designated as demonstration zones during the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics will cease function upon the ending of both Games, a senior official with the Games organizing committee said here on Wednesday.
[...] “During the Games, relevant departments received a number of demonstration applications from home and abroad. Except for very few cases that were not allowed by Chinese laws, all applications aimed at the settlement of some specific problems and issues,” said the official.
Through consultations between relevant authorities and the applicants, all the problems and issues were handled and settled properly, and the applicants withdrew their applications voluntarily, he added.
See also “China says headed off Olympic protest permits” from Reuters.
To some Chinese citizens, these demonstration parks may not have functioned at all. A report from New York Times tells a different story:
Ten people who came to Beijing last week to protest property losses involving local governments, one with a 4-month-old in tow, are still being held by the police in or around their hometown, and some had been beaten by the police, a relative of several detainees said Wednesday.
[...] Police officers in Liuzhou and Guangxi have declined to comment on the case. An official in Beijing acknowledged last week that the petitioners had been arrested by police officers from the south.
Before the Olympic Games began on Aug. 8, China said it would allow protests in three public parks in Beijing. But the government has not granted any protest permits and has detained some people seeking to demonstrate. The Paralympics ended on Wednesday, and it is unclear whether China will relax its restrictions now.