Home > News > (Letter from Bob) China to set up designated protest zones for Beijing Olympics

(Letter from Bob) China to set up designated protest zones for Beijing Olympics

Saw on ESPN.com AP reports that

Beijing will set up specially designated zones for protesters during next month’s Olympics … Liu Shaowu, director for security for the Beijing Olympic organizing committee, said Wednesday that areas in at least three public parks near outlying sporting venues have been set aside for use by demonstrators.

More on this.

It seems to me BOCOG did its homework and listened to some sound advices. As one American researcher in Beijing noted, “the zones would help deflect criticism from all but the more extreme rights groups.”

The protester wannabes can now have their field days in this new-age Woodstock, while the rest of world can truly enjoy the festival of the Olympics without being bothered by saboteurs, foreign or domestic alike, as any trouble maker outside these zones ought to be brought to justly, swiftly, and decisively.

Brilliant move, I think. What say you?

Categories: News Tags: , , ,
  1. Bob
    July 23rd, 2008 at 16:36 | #1

    Damn, several typos.

    in the tags: OIympics -> Olympics
    in the text: I seems -> It seems; these zone -> these zones

  2. July 23rd, 2008 at 16:42 | #2

    We’ll see how it works in practice. If the government allows freedom of expression in these areas and allows all news sources, foreign and domestic, to report on what happens there that would be a step forward at least.

  3. vadaga
    July 23rd, 2008 at 16:43 | #3

    This is interesting to say the least.

  4. Charles Liu
    July 23rd, 2008 at 16:47 | #4

    This is not a novel idea. Such tatics have been used extensively by our own Bush regime. When there’s a presidential events, only party loyals are given tickets, and designated protest zone miles away are setup to be a “sea of discourse” of garbled rants. Media in general will chooses to cover the main event instead.

    But then again, Western media may choose to cover Tibet instead of the 100 meter, who knows.

  5. AC
    July 23rd, 2008 at 16:52 | #5

    From Phoenix TV (Chinese)


  6. yo
    July 23rd, 2008 at 16:58 | #6

    Good move, a nice stepping stone.

  7. Buxi
    July 23rd, 2008 at 17:00 | #7

    We had a thread about the possibility of doing exactly this, and continuing it indefinitely, via a Hyde Park type setup a few months ago:


    I think this story is a little exaggerated, however. I looked at the transcript of the press conference, and the comment about the three parks was in response to a direct question from a SCMP reporter that basically asked:

    – “Will Beijing setup protest areas like Athens 2004?”

    The spokesman response to the question was a very brief one-liner. He didn’t describe the parks until a CNN reporter followed up, and he redirected those asking questions on any other details regarding the protest area to Beijing public security.

    I think these areas will be “there” (on maps and in regulations), but I really don’t expect anything with any sort of real sparks.

  8. Wahaha
    July 23rd, 2008 at 17:33 | #8

    Fantastic move !!!

    Hope they will still keep the zone after Olympic !

  9. deltaeco
    July 23rd, 2008 at 20:03 | #9

    Will it be necessary to buy entry tickets to enter?

    How much will it cost?

    There was not long ago an idea here to build a short of “demonstration stadium”, with cars to be toppled , gov buildings to be assaulted, and even anti riot police (special order needed).

  10. Chops
    July 23rd, 2008 at 20:26 | #10

    Director Liu “also reiterated that Chinese regulations require that all protesters apply and receive permission in advance, though he sidestepped questions about whether that included the special zones. Ni, the Shanghai scholar, said that Chinese protesters may be allowed only in the rather far World Park, not in the other venues.”

  11. Netizen
    July 23rd, 2008 at 22:13 | #11

    This is a good idea. People can protest somewhere. The protest leaders should be held responsible for any violence or any accusation without concrete evidence.

  12. Anon
    July 24th, 2008 at 01:43 | #12

    Yeah, Netizen; does this rule also apply to the government?

  13. Wukailong
    July 24th, 2008 at 04:31 | #13

    Wow. Speakers’ corner comes to China! 🙂 I’ve always been attracted by the zanies proposing all sorts of weird ideas in my home country, so this would be a great deal of fun.

  14. S.K. Cheung
    July 24th, 2008 at 07:11 | #14

    Well, sounds like a promising start. Hopefully, they’ll let them stay even after the Olympics are long gone, as yet another of the long-term experiments. Hopefully they’ll let foreigners and locals partake alike, since this would seem particularly relevant to locals in the long term. And hopefully, some day, there’ll be a figurative one on every street corner in every city in China.

  15. TheJesus
    July 30th, 2008 at 17:29 | #15

    Be wary. The only reason that a government will give you the right to protest in a certain area vs. another is because they are attempting to control people’s free speech. These zones could quickly become places where people are arrested and swept off the street. Any sort of action that the government doesn’t approve of outside of the zones can make the people in the zones sitting ducks.

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