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Petitioners fling handbills from Beijing hotel

 Chinese petitioners hold up protest banners some of which reads "Independent Judiciary Return Human Rights" on the edge of a hotel building in Beijin...
 Chinese petitioners hang protest banners describing various corruption and injustices from a hotel building roof top in Beijing, China, Monday, May 4...
 A Chinese petitioner cries near handbills tossed onto a road near a hotel in Beijing, China, Monday, May 4 , 2009. Protesters timing their protest on...
 A Chinese police officer tries to restrain a Chinese petitioner protesting on a road near a hotel in Beijing, China, Monday, May 4 , 2009. Protesters...
 Chinese petitioners toss handbills from the rooftop of a hotel where they have hung banners  describing various corruptions , to protest in Beijing, ...

China Protest

Chinese petitioners hold up protest banners some of which reads "Independent Judiciary Return Human Rights" on the edge of a hotel building in Beijin...

China Protest

Chinese petitioners hang protest banners describing various corruption and injustices from a hotel building roof top in Beijing, China, Monday, May 4...

China Protest

A Chinese petitioner cries near handbills tossed onto a road near a hotel in Beijing, China, Monday, May 4 , 2009. Protesters timing their protest on...

China Protest

A Chinese police officer tries to restrain a Chinese petitioner protesting on a road near a hotel in Beijing, China, Monday, May 4 , 2009. Protesters...

China Protest

Chinese petitioners toss handbills from the rooftop of a hotel where they have hung banners describing various corruptions , to protest in Beijing, ...

Protesters seeking redress for a litany of grievances strung banners from a Beijing hotel and flung handbills off its roof Monday in hopes of winning media attention.
The brief protest is the latest in a series of increasingly dramatic organized events aimed at drawing foreign news coverage. About a dozen police officers were on hand to watch the roughly 20 protesters, but no arrests were apparently made.
Cai Zhiguo, a 51-year-old businessman who says officials cheated him out of legitimate profits, said Monday's action was timed to coincide with the 90th anniversary of the May Fourth protest movement, which set the stage for the communist revolution that followed three decades later.
"Ninety years ago, the May 4 movement brought great progress to the Chinese people. Our problems haven't been solved, so we have to take such measures," Cai said.
Petitioners _ mostly from China's vast, impoverished countryside _ routinely flock to Beijing by the thousands to air complaints after their local governments ignore them.
The system has its roots in China's imperial past, when people petitioned the emperor. It survived after the Communists took power with "letters and visits" to offices at every level of government to handle grievances. The system is considered overwhelmed and inefficient and a very small percentage of cases _ mostly nonpayment of wages _ are ever resolved.
In recent years, petitioners' actions have expanded to include leaflet drops and banner-hanging, the blocking of traffic, and dayslong protests outside a university where a professor said most petitioners were mentally ill and should be locked away. China's entirely state controlled media usually ignores their protests.
Complaints on banners displayed Monday ranged from allegations of corruption to the use of fake medication in hospitals.
Protesters chanted "return my human rights" and "down with corrupt officials" before flinging handbills that detailed personal grievances at passing buses and cars. One woman protester threw herself to the ground and lay their moaning while police directed traffic around here.
"We were too soft before, but now we're standing up for our rights," said Wu Xiuling, from the port of Tianjin near Beijing. "We want to use the foreign media to tell the world."


Updated : 2021-08-06 11:42 GMT+08:00