Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Police Ask Chengdu Woman to Delete "We The People" Petition on Pengzhou PX Plant

On May 17, the web site of the state-sponsored Yunnan Info Daily published an article entitled "WhiteHouse Web Site Petition Leads to Visit from Chengdu Police" (白宫网站请愿 成都警察找上门).  An excerpt:
When the White House launched a new version of its "Internet Government Query" - "We The People," on September 1, 2011, it may not have foreseen that it would trigger an undercurrent of rivalry across the ocean. On May 7, 2013, a woman in Chengdu posted an English language petition on the "We The People" web site under the pseudonym "B.Y.," and three days later local police demanded she delete it.
. . . .
On May 7, 2013, after a woman in Chengdu signed petition under the pseudonym "B.Y." expressing support for Zhu Ling, she discovered that in fact she could also submit a petition. Consequently, she also published an English language petition on the "We The People" web site, expressing her discontent regarding some local matters. However, she clearly hadn't foreseen the trouble it would lead to. 
Based on media reports, three days later she was summoned to appear at a police organ near her workplace, she was "invited to drink tea." 
When she was interviewed she said that the meeting was "just for a chat," and "they wanted to know what I was opposing, and whether there were other issues of public concern." 
However, the local police requested she delete the aforementioned petition.
But she discovered that petitions could not be deleted once they have been published, and so there was nothing she could do. She did, however, delete related Weibo posts.
2011年9月1日,白宫开设的“网络问政”新板块——“我们人民”(We the people)时,可能没想到会引起大洋彼岸的暗涌。2013年5月7日,一名网名“B.Y.”的成都女子在“我们人民”网站发布了一份英文请愿,3天后,当地警方要求她删帖。
. . . .
These screenshots show the article was subsequently deleted.

Origina URL: http://news.ynxxb.com/content/2013-5/17/N10641969375.aspx

The petition in question read:
Of pengzhou, sichuan province, 10 million tons/year crude distillation and 800000 tons/year ethylene production project. 
Is located in pengzhou, sichuan province, sichuan petrochemical base, including 10 million tons/year crude distillation and 800000 tons/year ethylene and 25 sets of production equipment. To chengdu surrounding environment have a big impact, in 2008 and 2013, two big earthquake happened in sichuan province. So, for environmental risk above is so big, need to reassess safety, implored the international environment monitoring and evaluation institutions to help support! Thank!
These screenshots were taken on May 19, and show that Sina Weibo was censoring searches for "Pengzhou PX," (彭州 PX) and Tencent Weibo was censoring searches for "Pengzhou" (彭州).
For more examples of protests against PX plants and related censorship, see: