Shanghai’s Middle Class Launches Quiet, Meticulous Revolt (Updated)
The sudden “strolls” by thousands of office workers, company managers, young families and the elderly in this sleek financial hub are the latest chapter in a quiet middle-class battle against government officials. The protesters are going about their mission carefully, and many speak anonymously for fear of retribution in a country that stifles dissent.
The Communist Party has a massive security apparatus that closely monitors what it views as subversive activity. The party sometimes allows public protests if they serve its political interests, such as the ouster of corrupt officials.
But the protests here have been unusual. They are led by homeowners and professionals — people who may not previously have had much to complain to the government about but whose awareness of their individual rights has grown along with their prosperity.
(UPDATE: The New York Times also reports on the protests in tomorrow’s paper (via A Glimpse of the World blog).