Creator of White House Petition Visited by Police

Chinese netizens have recently discovered the public petition system on the White House website, and several petitions created by Chinese citizens have gone viral, notably one calling for an investigation of a 1994 poisoning death of a college student named Zhu Ling. Another petition, opposing a petrochemical plant in Pengzhou, outside Chengdu, has caused some trouble for its author. From the South China Morning Post:

She was contacted days after the city of Chengdu mobilised thousands of police officers and security agents to quell a protest against the 40 billion yuan (HK$50 billion) plant – now in its final construction phase – that eventually fizzled out on May 4.

“Please delete the petition,” a security agent told the blogger. The blogger, who did not want to be named, told the South China Morning Post that the agent had tracked her down from her registration information on Weibo and invited her to “tea”, an euphemism for a police interrogation. The agent had insisted that she withdraw the post from the website, she said.

But the US website does not allow petitions to be deleted. Frustrated and fearing retaliation, the blogger posted again on Weibo:

“Help needed! Will someone please tell me how to delete a White House petition? The police have talked to me, and I am scared.”

Another blogger responded: “Looks like you need to start another White House petition to have the first one deleted.” [Source]

Read the petition here. It currently has more than 2,000 signatures, but requires 200,000 by June 6 in order to get an official White House response.

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