Monday, 18 August 2008

Protesters perplexed

Sometimes, one comes across an article so cautiously written it makes satire redundant.

77 protest applications received after August 1
BEIJING - Beijing authorities have received 77 applications for demonstrations since August 1, a spokesperson with the municipal public security bureau said on Monday.These applications involved
149 people, including three persons from overseas. Most
of the applicants applied to protest in public for issues like labor disputes, medical disputes or inadequate welfares, the spokesperson said.
Seventy-four applications have been withdrawn so far, because the problems those applicants contended for were properly addressed by relevant authorities or departments through consultations, added the spokesperson.Two other applications have been suspended because
their procedures were incomplete, the spokesperson said. In one of such cases, for example, the applicant applied to take children to the demonstration, which is against China's law.According to China's law on demonstrations and protests, children are not eligible to take part in any demonstrations because they do not have independent will, nor can they be liable for their behaviors."The applicants (whose applications have been suspended) have been told to provide information of the eligible participants, and provide the adequate papers as required," the spokesperson said. "It doesn't mean their applications have been rejected." The Chinese law requires demonstrators submit their requests at least five days in advance and detail the intention and topic of the protest, as well as the basic information of the participants.
The one remaining application has been vetoed by the public security authorities, as it is in violation of China's law on demonstrations and protests, the spokesperson said without elaboration.

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