"I’m at the scene of last night’s extraordinary anti Covid-zero protest in Shanghai. Many people are gathered here quietly watching. Lots of cops. Two girls laid flowers which were promptly removed by police. One man drove past with middle finger up at police," Lawrence reported, "some small crowds are gathered on the sidewalks quietly watching the scene and the police presence.
"I’ve seen several people with flowers. One girl was holding a blank piece of paper. One man has just approached me to say his flowers were confiscated by police. As he tells me this, two cops come over to listen to our conversation. The crowd has grown from maybe a few dozen to several hundred. I’ve seen the police arrest three people - two of whom then fought with police. There’s a silent tension until one person shouts, and then the crowd chants and claps in support. I’m told by friends that police have blocked the roads around this area and they’re not letting people through."
The BBC released a statement, saying "The BBC is extremely concerned about the treatement of our journalist Ed Lawrence, who was arrested and handcuffed while covering the protests in Shanghai. He was held for several hours before being released. During his arrest, he was beaten and kicked by the police. This happened while he was working as an accredited journalist.
"It is very worrying that one of our journalists was attacked in this way whilst carrying out his duties. We have had no official explanation of apology from the Chinese authorities, beyond a claim by the officials who later released him that they had arrested him for his down good in case he caught Covid from the crowd. We do not consider this a credible explanation."
Reports say that the arrest happened on the Urumqi Road, and that Lawrence "was targeted becuz he was filming the protest." Protestors stood out in the streets of Shanghai demanding their freedom and holding up white papers to protest censorship, CNN reported.
As protestors demanded that CCP President Xi Jinping step down, a CNN reporter "asks Police what they are gonna do to the protesters and a Police officer tells her to 'f.ck off.'"
"The White Paper Revolution is an unprecedented uprising against the draconian covid lockdowns of the CCP. The people China join freedom fighters the world over who have fought against tyrannical covid policies and the monsters who pushed them," Jack Posobiec said.
Violence broke out between protestors and officers while demonstrators shouted "take down the CCP!"
There have reportedly been numerous arrests by officers.
Chinese citizens have been subjected to rolling, draconian lockdown policies. Officials have welded shut the doors on apartment buildings to prevent people from leaving quarantine, have separated families, have taken children from families, all in an effort to stop the spread of Covid.
This is part of China's "zero Covid" policy, where those who contract the disease are separated from those who test negative for it. Videos have emerged on Twitter of children being forced to show Covid papers to authorities.
A fire Thursday at an apartment building in the Xinjiang province claimed the lives of at lease a dozen citizens who burned alive after being locked into their homes. This was a spark for these protests.
"The protests in Shanghai are taking place right down the street from the US Consulate Not a single official or member of the Biden Admin has said a word about them," Posobiec said.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
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