Sunday, September 16, 2012

As Protests Grow in Front of Japan's Embassy in Beijing, Sina Weibo Censors "Japanese Embassy"

On September 16, 2012, the state-sponsored China Daily's front page headline read: "Stay Away." According to the article:
On Saturday, demonstrations were held in more than 20 major cities across China as public anger grew against Tokyo's most recent provocations in its illegal claims on the Diaoyu Islands, which have always been a part of China historically. 
Emotions gained momentum, especially in Beijing, Nanjing, Xi'an, Qingdao, Chongqing and Changsha, where protestors waved banners that urged the boycott of Japanese goods. Observers described the events as a natural reaction, but cautioned that demonstrators must "assert sovereignty in an accepted manner". 
Protests also gathered strength online, as celebrities and public leaders also raised patriotic fervor through their social networks and micro blogs. 
In Beijing, citizens gathered in front of the Japanese embassy to protest against Tokyo's decision earlier this week to "purchase" the islands. In Nanjing, thousands protested downtown, holding banners that declared "Diaoyu Islands belong to China" and "Boycott Japanese goods".
This screenshot shows that, while a search for "Japanese Embassy" (日本大使馆) on Sina Weibo on September 15 returned over 1 million results, the same search done the following day returned no results, just a censorship notice.

The following are some images from the Beijing protests.
Traffic was blocked in front of the embassy, but
these two guys were able to ride up on motorcycles
(the black one is a Honda) and throw a plastic bag
full of eggs to the crowd.

The red arm bands say “Security Patrol" (治安巡逻)

Fans of Marx and Mao made an appearance.
The top sign says "Chairman Mao Come Back"

After a few laps Protest Dog was feeling a bit tired.
The woman's shirt says "This Color Sucks"

Police escorted groups as they took turns marching past the embassy
and kept spectators out of the demonstrators way.

The presence of many families with their children added to the
parade-like atmosphere.