VIDEO: A man ran into the field during Portugal vs Uruguay at 2022 FIFA World Cup match in Qatar waving a pride flag and wearing a ‘Save Ukraine’ and ‘Respect for Iranian Woman’ shirt KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt


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Monday, November 28, 2022

VIDEO: A man ran into the field during Portugal vs Uruguay at 2022 FIFA World Cup match in Qatar waving a pride flag and wearing a ‘Save Ukraine’ and ‘Respect for Iranian Woman’ shirt

A man ran into the field during World Cup match in Qatar waving a pride flag and wearing a ‘Save Ukraine’ and ‘Respect for Iranian Woman’ shirt.

In another news, Barely a month after granting himself new powers as China’s potential leader for life, Xi Jinping is facing a wave of public anger of the kind not seen for decades, sparked by his “zero COVID” strategy that will soon enter its fourth year.

Demonstrators poured into the streets over the weekend in cities including Shanghai and Beijing, criticizing the policy, confronting police — and even calling for Xi to step down. Students at some universities also protested.

Widespread demonstrations are unprecedented since the army crushed the 1989 student-led pro-democracy movement centered on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

Most protesters focused their anger on restrictions that can confine families to their homes for months and have been criticized as neither scientific nor effective. Some complained the system is failing to respond to their needs.

The cries for the resignation of Xi and the end of the Communist Party that has ruled China for 73 years could be deemed sedition, which is punishable by prison.

The possibility of more protests is unclear. Government censors scrubbed the internet of videos and messages supporting them. And analysts say unless divisions emerge, the Communist Party should be able to contain the dissent.

China’s stringent measures were originally accepted for minimizing deaths while other countries suffered devastating waves of infections, but that consensus has begun to fray in recent weeks.

While the ruling party says anti-coronavirus measures should be “targeted and precise” and cause the least possible disruption to people’s lives, local officials are threatened with losing their jobs or other punishments if outbreaks occur. They have responded by imposing quarantines and other restrictions that protesters say exceed what the central government allows.

Xi’s unelected government doesn’t seem too concerned with the hardships brought by the policy. This spring, millions of Shanghai residents were placed under a strict lockdown that resulted in food shortages, restricted access to medical care and economic pain. Nevertheless, in October, the city’s party secretary, a Xi loyalist, was appointed to the Communist Party’s No. 2 position.

The party has long imposed surveillance and travel restrictions on minorities including Tibetans and Muslim groups such as Uyghurs, more than 1 million of whom have been detained in camps where they are forced to renounce their traditional culture and religion and swear fealty to Xi.

But this weekend’s protests included many members of the educated urban middle class from the ethnic Han majority. The ruling party relies on that group to abide by an unwritten post-Tiananmen agreement to accept autocratic rule in exchange for a better quality of life.

Now, it appears that old arrangement has ended as the party enforces control at the expense of the economy, said Hung Ho-fung of Johns Hopkins University.

“The party and the people are trying to seek a new equilibrium,” he said. “There will be some instability in the process.”

To develop into something on the scale of the 1989 protests would require clear divisions within the leadership that could be leveraged for change, Hung said.

Xi all but eliminated such threats at an October party congress. He broke with tradition and awarded himself a third five-year term as party leader and packed the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee with loyalists. Two potential rivals were sent into retirement.

“Without the clear signal of party leader divisions ... I would expect this kind of protest might not last very long,” Hung said.

It’s “unimaginable” that Xi would back down, and the party is experienced in handling protests, Hung said.

Demonstrations from the night before resurfaced in the capital of Beijing and the financial hub of Shanghai in addition to other major cities, and the protests at times turned violent as police sought to break them up, The Associated Press reported.

The protests materialized after an apartment building fire in the northwestern city of Urumqi, located in China’s Xinjiang region.

The fire killed 10 people and injured nine others, and resentment has swelled as some suggest the lockdown measures in place in the city delayed firefighters’ response and efforts to save the victims.

In Shanghai, protesters early Sunday morning chanted “Xi Jinping! Step down! CCP! Step down!” while standing on a road named for the city of Urumqi, a rare show of defiance of the country’s leader, the AP noted.

Hours after being cleared by police, crowds returned to the street, shouting “We don’t want PCR tests, we want freedom!”

Xi, who recently began his third term as China’s leader and increasingly surrounded himself with loyalists, has continued the “zero COVID” strategy as the country approaches the three-year anniversary of discovering its first case.

The strategy, in which officials attempt to isolate every case and eliminate the spread of COVID-19, has led residents in parts of the country to be in lockdowns for months.

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