Several videos of a mob attacking and overturning a police car in China have gone viral on social media, marking another case of civil disobedience that has breached the country’s wall of digital censorship. .

A large group of people gathered in Lowe County, Hannonon January 2, where it is understood that frustration over the fireworks ban escalated into people pushing an officer and attacking a police vehicle.

Some people threw firecrackers at the then empty car, broke its windows and climbed on top of the car to rob and dance on it.

Social media users drew a link between the crackdown on local authorities and unusually large protests in China last year, known as the #WhitePaperRevolution or #A4Revolution, to show that the protesters had How did you pick up blank pieces of paper during your process?

BEIJING Photo: People protest against zero covid in AP.
In Beijing last year, people staged a white paper to express their protest against China’s then-zero Covid policy. Photo: AP

While there is little evidence to formally link the events, online commenters made comparisons, posting videos since Monday with the tag #FireworkRevolution.

One of the online posts compares the 2022 protest to the incident on January 2.
One of the online posts compares the 2022 protest to the incident on January 2.

According to Professor William Hirst, Chong Hua Professor of Chinese Development at the University of Cambridge, incidents such as attacks on police cars are not that unusual in China. However, he said the amount of video that has surfaced online since Monday is minimal.

“Protests of this scale and intensity are frequent. [and] “The government doesn’t necessarily see it as a big deal,” he told Sky News. “.

This type of content is frequent. Immediately removed from Chinese social media.. Appearing on sites outside China’s sphere of influence, such as Twitter and Instagram, is surprising on this scale.

Professor Hirst said: “I think it’s actually a new trend that we’ve been seeing over the last few months. It’s something new and different.

“Somehow, it seems that more and more of these videos of controversial episodes are making it onto Chinese social media platforms such as Douyin (known as TikTok outside of China) and Chinese social media for some. There has been a long history of extracting videos from platforms and reposting them on other social media in China as well as internationally.

“Either people who are posting videos have become much more savvy about Internet controls and how to avoid censorship and other restrictions, or the state is actually loosening up a little bit about what’s allowed to be posted and How long is it allowed to stay. What is allowed to leak above and internationally. It can be both.”

Videos show a large crowd gathered at a local historic site in Lowe County. Sky News has confirmed the location.

Some early videos of the incident show the car trying to drive through a crowd with a man sitting on the bonnet.

The car has minimal damage at the moment, with the first clip showing a dent above the right wheel.

Another video shows the car being completely surrounded by people filming on their phones and a man climbing on top of the boat.

Another shows people pushing and shoving a policeman.

Later, people throw objects at the car – including fireworks.

Some people attack the car…

… and climb over it.

One video in particular has been widely circulated. It shows a man in a distinctive Balenciaga top dancing on top of a police car.

The car is badly damaged from this point.

And finally, a line of people forms and overturns the car.

The Lui County Public Security Bureau released a statement on Chinese social media saying eight people are under investigation and six have been arrested after the attack on a police vehicle.

Posts sharing police comments and criticizing the incident remain on Chinese social media, but comments praising the crowd for rebelling against the authorities have been largely deleted.

A search for “Luyi” on Weibo on Jan. 4 yielded less than 300 results. The posts that appear there are equally critical of the incident.

And while many videos were posted on Douyin, it seems almost all have been removed.

The videos do not establish whether the attack on the police car was in response to officers’ efforts to enforce a ban on fireworks, due to concerns about fire hazards and air pollution.

Many wanted the ban to be lifted to celebrate the end of three years of COVID-19 restrictions in the country.

China has since moved away from its controversial zero-COVID policy. The largest demonstration of opposition to the ruling Communist Party Decades were seen in late November and early December.

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