If you follow the news, you have probably heard about the Jasmine Revolution that is being brutally crushed by the Chinese authorities.
But here’s an interesting take on it: it might not actually be happening. The authorities may just be randomly arresting people who are just out for a stroll, without a clue that a “revolution” is allegedly being fought.
The blogs and websites themselves are largely invisible to ordinary Chinese as the Great Firewall keeps them out, but they can be seen by the security agencies, who have been swift to react. The organizers, whoever and wherever they are, have repeatedly called on people to gather in a range of popular and public areas in the centre of major cities across China – shopping malls and university campuses – and go for a stroll every Sunday afternoon to call for minor political change. These public areas are, at that time of day, normally filled with young people and out-of-town domestic tourists, all now potential ‘protesters’. Now, because of the number of competing and overlapping security agencies, there is a lot of pressure on the local commanders to make some arrests and to show some success, but there are no genuine protesters, just some bemused local tourists and a lot of foreign journalists. So some young tourists get beaten up and taken away, and some journalists get smacked around.