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Zero-Tolerance: Chinese Lockdown Protests Intensify In Rare Display Of Defiance

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NOEL CELIS/AFP via Getty Images

Protests in China over President Xi Jinping’s zero-tolerance Covid-19 measures have intensified – expanding from Beijing and the far western Xinjiang region to several other major cities, including Wuhan, Shanghai, and the eastern city of Nanjing, according to video and photos circulating on social media.

The weekend protests followed Friday demonstrations in Urumqi, the capitol of Xinjiang, after a deadly fire killed residents who were locked inside following lockdowns which have lasted more than 100 days. Officials have reported 10 deaths in the fire, however citizens have reported up to 40 who perished.

The protests are a rare display from a typically compliant citizenry, who know that crackdowns on dissent have intensified over the past decade. As the Wall Street Journal notes, ” Having protests over the same issue break out in multiple Chinese cities is almost unheard of, outside of nationalist outpourings, such as anti-Japanese protests.”

Since the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989, the ruling party has allowed some local demonstrations, but made it a priority to prevent nationwide protests.

On Saturday, videos circulating on social media showed crowds gathering on a street in central Shanghai calling for a lifting of lockdowns. The videos were verified by Storyful, a social-media research company owned by News Corp, parent company of The Wall Street Journal. -WSJ

Protests are calling for Xi Jinping to step down

During Saturday evening demonstrations in Shanghai – the largest city in the country, people were openly heard shouting anti-government slogans such as “Xi Jinping, step down!” and “Communist party, step down!” the BBC reports.

Demonstrators held blank white banners and lit candles to honor the victims in the Urumqi fire.

One Shanghai protester told the BBC that he felt “shocked and a bit excited” at so many people in the streets – saying it was the first such large-scale demonstration of dissent. A woman told the BBC that police said they feel “the same as you” about the protests, but “they wear their uniforms so they’re doing their job.”

As the Epoch Times notes; At Beijing’s prestigious Tsinghua University, dozens of people held a peaceful protest against COVID-19 restrictions, according to images and videos posted on social media.

In one video, which Reuters was unable to verify, a Tsinghua university student called on a cheering crowd to speak out. “If we don’t dare to speak out because we are scared of being smeared, our people will be disappointed in us. As a Tsinghua university student, I will regret it for all my life.”

One student who saw the Tsinghua protest described to Reuters feeling taken aback by the protest at one of China’s most elite universities, and Xi’s alma mater.

“People there were very passionate, the sight of it was impressive,” the student said, declining to be named given the sensitivity of the matter.

According to the report, “analysts say the government appears to have drastically underestimated growing discontent towards the zero-Covid approach, a policy inextricably linked to Xi Jinping who recently pledged there would be no swerving from it.”

In other areas of the country witnesses gave accounts of police violence, with one protesters telling AP (so who knows if it’s true) that one of his friends had been beaten by police, while two others were pepper sprayed.

The BBC saw police officers, private security guards and plain-clothed police officers on the streets, confronting protesters who assembled for a second day.

Demonstrators who led anti-government chants were taken away, and punched or pushed up against a police car in some cases.

Photos and videos have also emerged online that showed students launching their own protests at universities in Beijing and Nanjing on Saturday. -BBC

On Sunday, hundreds of people were seen demonstrating in Wuhan, where the Covid-19 pandemic began. 

Meanwhile…

And of course, Taylor Lorenz is cheering China’s zero-covid policy.

This post was originally published at Zero Hedge

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Aussie Cops Ask Neighbors To Rat Out ‘Anti-Government, Anti-Police, Or COVID-Vaccine Conspiracy Theorists’

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Australian police are using a brutal ambush on two cops to encourage residents to rat out neighbors who are skeptical of the Covid-10 vaccine, or harbor anti-government views.

On December 12, two Brisbane police officers were gunned down by a family of rural Australians, who opened fire as the two officers approached their home. Constables Rachel McCrow, 29, and Matthew Arnold, 26 died in the attack, while a third officer, Constable Randall Kirk, was shot in the leg but managed to escape. A fourth officer, Keely Brough, fled to safety in the bushes.

Later that evening, members of the rural family were killed in a shootout with tactical police.

In response to the incident, Deputy Commissioner Tracy Linford suggested that neighbors need to assume anyone who harbors non-mainstream views is clearly a threat.

“As I said before, if there’s anybody out there that knows of someone that might be showing concerning behavior around conspiracy theories, anti-government, anti-police, conspiracy theories around COVID-19 vaccination as what we’re seeing with [shooting perpetrators] the Train family, we’d want to know about it. We want to know about that. And you can either contact the police directly or go through Crime Stoppers,” she said.

In response, Rebel News‘ Avi Yemini replied: “Queensland Police appealing to the public to dob in their neighbours who “are anti-government or believe Covid-19 vaccine conspiracy theories.””

This has not sat well with many:

This post was originally published at Zero Hedge

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Was Video Of Brittney Griner Release Edited To Remove Handshake With Russian ‘Merchant Of Death’?

The optics wouldn’t go down well as even Democrats are slating the ‘only deal on the table’

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Steve Watson

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A video of the Brittney Griner prisoner exchange between Russian and U.S. officials was mysteriously edited, prompting speculation that the State Department edited out a handshake between the athlete and the Russian terrorist she was traded for.

Internet sleuths are suggesting the weird cut in the footage comes right as Griner was posturing herself to shake the hand of arms dealer Viktor Bout, known as the ‘Merchant of Death’.

Bout was convicted on terrorism charges over a decade ago for attempting to sell missiles worth tens of millions of dollars to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), specifically for the purpose of shooting down U.S. Military helicopters.

The optics of Griner shaking Bout’s hand wouldn’t play too well for the Biden administration, which is already being heavily criticised for making such a horrible deal, and leaving behind other U.S. prisoners including Marine veteran Paul Whelan.

Even Democrats are slating the administration’s actions:

Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked the White House Press Secretary “Why did Russia get such a better deal?” to which she replied, it was that deal or nothing.

“In bringing home a professional athlete, we gave up a prolific arms dealer who was convicted of trying to kill Americans who’s called the ‘Merchant of Death,’” Doocy bluntly noted.

Another reporter asked how on earth this doesn’t send a message to Russia and other authoritarian regimes that all they have to do is kidnap Americans in order to broker a deal to get their criminal scum back.

Of course, she had no answer.

But hey, lets not miss an opportunity to alphabet and race virtue signal:

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    New Zealand Takes Baby From Parents Demanding “Unvaccinated” Blood For Heart Surgery

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    New Zealand’s High Court on Wednesday took custody of an infant whose parents demanded he only receive blood from donors who are unvaccinated against Covid-19 for an urgently needed heart surgery to repair a congenital defect.

    He remains in urgent need of an operation, and every day that the operation is delayed his heart is under strain,” reads the order, citing one of his doctors.

    The parents, Cole Reeves and Samantha Savage, rejected doctors’ assertion that using blood donated from outside normal channels was “impractical” for the child’s circumstance, and that surgery without donated blood was “not an available option.”

    “That Is Where Tyranny Starts”: New Zealand May Take Baby From Parents Demanding ‘Unvaccinated’ Blood For Heart Surgery

    Apparently an unvaccinated volunteer with the same blood type is not ‘an available option.’

    Judge Ian Gault ruled that it was in “Baby W’s best interests” for the court to take temporary custody of him so the surgery could be performed. The infant was placed under the guardianship of the court from Wednesday until he recovers from surgery, but not beyond January 31st, the Washington Post reports.

    The surgery, which is set for Friday morning, is estimated to take 48 hours to complete. Two doctors were appointed as Baby W’s legal representatives for the purpose of consenting to surgery, and Reeves and Savage were appointed as his representatives for “all other purposes.” Doctors said they would “take the parents’ views into consideration” whenever possible — as long as doing so wouldn’t compromise “Baby W’s interests.”

    The decision followed a tense period of several weeks fraught with baseless claims, according to the order. -WaPo

    Reeves and Savage how now tried to stop doctors preparing the infant for the operation on Friday – which the High Court responded to by ordering the parents not to obstruct staff at Starship Hospital.

    Te Whatu Ora has asked for the police to step in and also asked the court if officers are entitled to use reasonable force to remove the baby from the parents. 

    In his decision yesterday, Justice Gault also said doctors from Te Whatu Ora had been made agents of the court to carry out the surgery, including the adminstration of any blood products.

    In a minute issued this evening, Justice Gault said he had been informed by the lawyer acting for Te Whatu Ora that the baby’s parents had prevented doctors from taking blood tests, performing a chest X-ray and performing an anaesthetic assessment.

    The lawyer understood the parents had threatened to lay criminal charges against medical staff if they went ahead, Justice Gault said. –RNZ

    “You touch our child and we will press criminal charges against you,” the parents told hospital staff, according to the filing.

    The parents’ lawyer, Sue Grey, petitioned the judge, asking for the opinions of two US doctors to be considered, adding that it would be “extreme overreach” if police were called in to remove the baby from his parents in order to perform the surgery.

    Justice Gault denied the request, saying Grey was effectively seeking to re-open the case he had already ruled on.

    “Baby W urgently requires surgery and, as I concluded in my judgment, an order enabling the surgery to proceed using NZBS [New Zealand Blood Service] blood products without further delay is in Baby W’s best interests,” wrote Gault.

    This post was originally published at Zero Hedge

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