Chinese Use Texting to Keep Protest Alive

Activists wielding cell phones and blogs circumvent censorship
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2007 12:56 PM CDT
Chinese Use Texting to Keep Protest Alive
A protester holds up a sign which reads "Must stop construction, Not suspend Construction" during a demonstration against a chemical plant in Xiamen, southeastern China, Friday, June 1, 2007. Protesters rallied against a chemical plant in southeastern China on Friday, even after the local government...   (Associated Press)

Chinese activists used text messages and blog posts to organize and publicize a huge protest against the construction of a chemical plant, demonstrating continuing ingenuity in skirting government strictures against dissent in the media. Construction of the plant in the coastal town of Xiamen was put on hold following a 10,000-person demonstration, the Washington Post reports.

The local party secretary was pushing hard for the plant, intimidating reporters who investigated resistance to the project. But organizers sent text messages warning of the dangers construction would pose, and marchers blogged the protest live. Local officials tried to shut down the new-media dissenters by blocking texting systems and jamming blogs. (Read more China stories.)

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