China’s crackdown on free speech spurs rise of “toilet revolution” where people scribble messages of freedom on toilet stalls

Monday, August 20, 2018
By Paul Martin

by: JD Heyes
Monday, August 20, 2018

The governing Chinese Communist Party has never been much for upholding basic civil rights like those found in the U.S. Constitution’s first ten amendments, but in recent years the party has come down even harder on one of the most fundamental of all rights: Free speech.

As reported by Radio Free Asia, the government’s speech crackdown has gotten so bad that one activist, Ji Xiaolong, was reduced to writing political messages critical of the ruling party in public toilets in the city of Shanghai.

And now he’s missing.

The news site reported:

Authorities in Shanghai have detained an activist who called on people to write “Down with the [ruling Chinese] Communist Party” in public toilets in the city, in a fresh twist on the Chinese president’s call for a “toilet revolution.”

Ji previously called on civil rights activists and democracy advocates to log responses to President Xi Jinping’s call for a “toilet revolution” by writing political slogans on the walls that could then be seen by thousands of people.

In February, NPR reported that the Chinese government launched an ambitious $3 billion “toilet revolution” plan in 2015 to clean up public toilets in China’s tourist centers, which were often too disgusting to use. Some cities have gone as far as to install Wi-Fi, ATMs, newsstands, and electric-vehicle charging stations to their upgraded public facilities.

Ji, the activist, used the slogan to spread pro-democracy messages. On July 20, he took to social media to urge fellow Chinese citizens to write the “down with” message, according to a friend who spoke with RFA.

“He has been incommunicado since July 31, with his phone switched off and nobody at his apartment, Chen Jianfang told the news station. “It is very likely that this is because he posted messages online calling for a ‘toilet revolution.’ He wrote a few words in a hospital toilet.”

According to RFA, Ji wrote, “I don’t have money to cure my bowel movements, Fatty Xi is chucking money around, changing the constitution to make himself king. When will this suffering end? Down with the Communist Party!” (Related: Facebook now de-platforming conservative journalists who simply ask Muslim congressional candidates tough questions.)

‘He just can’t let things go’

The Rest…HERE

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