News / Asia

    China's Jasmine Protest Organizers Call For Regular Sunday Strolls

    Protesters hold up pictures of jasmine flowers during a "Jasmine Revolution" protest outside the Chinese liaison office in Hong Kong, February 20, 2011.
    Protesters hold up pictures of jasmine flowers during a "Jasmine Revolution" protest outside the Chinese liaison office in Hong Kong, February 20, 2011.

    Organizers of Sunday's so-called "Jasmine Rallies" across China are now urging supporters to press for a more accountable government with a series of weekly Sunday strolls.

    The anonymous organizers, believed to be overseas Chinese dissidents, posted their latest call Tuesday on the Chinese-language Boxun.com and other websites. An English-language translation was provided by the advocacy group Human Rights in China on its own website.

    Sunday's rallies, inspired by uprisings across the Middle East, attracted only a small number of protesters who were vastly outnumbered by security forces, reporters and curious onlookers.

    But in their latest posting the organizers tell the demonstrators that their action "has already made the authoritarian government very nervous."

    They urge supporters to return each Sunday to the same locations in 13 cities "to stroll, watch, or even just pretend to pass by." Because of the strollers' presence, they say, the government "will be shaking with fear."

    In a lengthy commentary accompanying the appeal, the organizers argue that rapid economic growth in China has benefited only the powerful. They say the government grows "more corrupt by the day" and that a small number of people have become incredibly wealthy while the vast majority remain poor.

    The writers say they are not necessarily seeking to overthrow the government, as long as it will fight corruption and address the people's demands for accountability and freedom of expression.

    They say they oppose violent revolution and do not care whether China has a one-party, two-party or even a three-party system. But they say they are resolute in demanding that the government accept the supervision of the people and an independent judiciary, calling that their "fundamental demand."

    Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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