China’s Would-Be Protesters Denied

The Washington Post looks at the would-be protesters who have been denied permits to hold rallies during the Olympics:

Among those who have tried to secure a permit is Ge Yifei, a 48-year-old doctor of Chinese medicine from this city in China’s eastern Jiangsu province. Ge, who is involved in a property development dispute with local officials, recently traveled to Beijing to submit an application to protest. On Friday, she was in the middle of an interview with a Public Security Bureau officer when four beefy men surrounded her.

“Why did you come here?” the largest demanded with an accent that clearly identified him as being from her home town. “What do you want?”

Ge soon realized what was going on: The men had been dispatched 640 miles by her local government to make sure she didn’t get a permit. When she began to elaborate on her situation, they told her to go home. When she tried to leave the office to go sightseeing instead, they blocked her path.


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