Slideshow: NPC and CPPCC Meet, Crackdown On Petitioners in Full Swing

From overseas website Boxun News, translated by CDT:

Only a few months into the new year, and just after the Lantern Festival, petitioners from all over the country and provincial police officers have gathered en mass around Beijing’s South Station. Within a mile radius of the place, there’s the State Petition Office, the General Office of the State Council and the National People’s Congress. Petitioners and police officers from all over the country gathered here day in and day out, year after year are at loggerheads with one another. They’re engaged in a large-scale, intense game of chess, and it always happens at the same time, when the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) are in session.

Since 2008 is the year of the Beijing Olympics, the crackdown on petitioners in terms of scope and severity surpasses anything we’ve seen yet. The crackdown is unprecedented and comprehensive – it reveals how complete government control over common people is. Take for example the reception center for the Supreme Court: Every morning, there are cars lined up bumper to bumper starting at Kaiyang bridge and extending west into the distance. Some of them are even double-parked. The following video was shot quickly in the afternoon. Compared to the morning, there are half as many cars, but it’s still impressive. It’s hard to know exactly how many cars there are all together. Whenever a space opens, a new police vehicle with out-of-town plates pulls in. From the ruins of torn houses near South Station it was possible to take pictures of a few of the different license plates: There were cars from Shandong, Jiangsu, Heilongjiang, Liaoning, Shanxi, etc.

Taoran Bridge was crowded with police speaking all different kinds of dialects breaking up petitioners who refused to be silenced. The scene was noisier even than Beijing’s dog market. The picture below is a shot taken in the afternoon; the morning wave of petitioners had already come and gone.

Meanwhile, Beijing police were gathering en mass around South Station creating an atmosphere designed to stifle petitioners. Since the NPC was in session that day, on all number 20 buses, which go from South Station to North Station via Tiananmen Sqaure, the windows were temporarily sealed shut with tape and police officers were onboard from the first stop to the last to prevent petitioners from distributing pamphlets. Bus number 20 was more strictly monitored than any of the other busses that by Tiananmen.

During the NPC and CPPCC meetings, there was said to be heightened security in order to prevent potential terrorist attacks, but it was really just to further suppress petitioners. Can an old cop on the bus guarding a window really help prevent terrorism? Clearly it was just a way of using police force to prevent petitioners from spreading pamphlets.


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