Following at recent crackdown on dissidents in China by Senior Vice-Premier, Teng Hsiao-Peng, Peking City Authorities have started a drive to "purify" the City.
Following at recent crackdown on dissidents in China by Senior Vice-Premier, Teng Hsiao-Peng, Peking City Authorities have started a drive to "purify" the City. In recent months, wall posters had become an increasingly popular tool of the Free Speech Movement, but their use has now been severely restricted in Peking.
SYNOPSIS: During the experiment with free speech, posters appeared in many locations in the capital and interaction between ordinary Chinese and foreigners increased. Diplomats in Peking believe this may have frightened some of the more conservative Chinese leaders who were worried about the posters becoming a major attraction.
On the first of April, the Peking City administration issued an order banning public criticism of the Communist Party, and restricting posters to only one wall, called "democracy wall".
Reuters sources believed the action may have a build-up to the annual Ching Ming Festival were these youngsters were marching last week (April 5)
The festival is a memorial day for China's dead, and three years ago riots broke out on the day when authorities removed wreaths laid in honour of former Premier Chou En Lai, who had died only a few weeks previously.
At this year's festival Chou En Lai was again honoured, but Reuters reported that the atmosphere was tense and quiet, people took little interest in the scores of wreaths laid at the martyr's Monument, centre of the 1976 riots.
The uneasy tone of the festival had been set earlier in the day at "Democracy Wall" where a young man pasted up a poem and challenged police to arrest him. He eventually cycled away unhindered. However, the people weren't allowed to forget that their recent liberalisation has been curtailed .. city authorities reminded them of the new laws restricting freedom of speech, and used megaphones to make sure they got the message.