As calls for democratic reforms fill the air starting this year that ousted two long-time reigning leaders in Tunisia and Egypt, several countries in North Africa, the Middle East, and now South America, are staging protest actions to overthrow ruthless leaders, mostly allies of Western nations, will the same happen in China?
A show of force was seen Saturday in Beijing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Tianjin and Wuhan as large numbers of civilian-clothed and uniformed police were deployed to thwart a possible eruption of the Chinese version of "Jasmine Revolution" fomented by unknown activists in an online public forum.
As a preemptive response, the authorities blocked Chinese microblogs, arrested a hundred known activists, and increased police visibility.
In the capital's Wangfujing shopping district close to Tiananmen Square, a few hundred people gathered in front of McDonald's. A blogger described it as "a revolution that never was," as the people who gathered did not chant nor carried placards.
However, the lone open display of protest was that of Liu Xiaobai, 25, who went as far as placing a white jasmine flower in front of the burger chain store and took some shots using his cell phone. The police stopped by at him.
Liu told the AP, "I’m quite scared because they took away my phone. I just put down some white flowers, what’s wrong with that? I’m just a normal citizen and I just want peace."
Human rights lawyer Li Jinsong said, "By taking this so seriously, police are showing how concerned they are that the Jasmine Revolution could influence China’s social stability."
Acknowledging the growing unrest, Chinese president urged the Communist Party to maintain stability and ordered stricter online censorship.
Saturday's foiled protests has ingrained among the Chinese people to call for reforms.
Online activist F. Jasmine has this to say, "The seeds of freedom have been widely spread in people’s mind even its final goal cannot be achieved."
"We want to tell the rulers with our actions that the rights are in the hand of the people. They don’t have much time left. If they refuse reform, the people will rewrite history."
View the attached YouTube video to witness how silent China's first attempt to organize themselves into a mass action.
Further details here.