SHANGHAI: Chinese security forces on Monday filled the streets of Beijing and Shanghai following online calls for another night of protests to demand political freedoms and an end to Covid lockdowns.
People have taken to the streets in major cities and gathered at university campuses across China in a wave of nationwide protests not seen since pro-democracy rallies in 1989 were crushed.
A deadly fire last week in Urumqi, the capital of northwest China s Xinjiang region, was the catalyst for public anger, with many blaming Covid-19 lockdowns for hampering rescue efforts.
Beijing has accused “forces with ulterior motives” for linking the fire to Covid measures.
At an area in the economic hub of Shanghai where demonstrators gathered at the weekend, AFP witnessed police leading three people away. China s online censorship machine also worked to scrub signs of the social media-driven rallies