Protests are rare in China where any dissent is quickly stamped out by authorities. Remember the pro-democracy demonstrations in 1989 that ended in a bloody crackdown around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square?

Now people are protesting over China’s draconian COVID measures which have trapped many — quite literally — in their homes.

New demonstrations broke out after a deadly fire in Xinjiang killed 10 people when firemen couldn’t get close though to extinguish the flames. Many have blamed the tragedy on the zero Covid lockdowns.


In Bejing, people took to the streets holding pieces of white A4 paper — a symbol of China’s censorship — and a flower to remember the Urumqi victims.

“The Chinese people always have a high tolerance of the government. The reason why they came out is because a lot of them cannot carry on living,” said one protestor. “Their basic demand is only to live on. People are angry because they think their most basic rights are not protected.”