Authorities in China stage swift response to crush mysterious calls for ‘Jasmine Revolution’

Philip Caulfield
NY Daily News

Authorities in China Sunday staged a massive, nationwide response to head off potential protests after a mysterious post on an advocacy website and other social media outlets urged citizens to stage a “Jasmine Revolution.”

It is not clear who organized the campaign, but authorities rounded up more than a dozen activists, lawyers and dissidents, censored Internet activity and pulled the plug on text messaging services in response to the call, according to local reports.

The censorship moves, along with the reports of heavy police presence in Beijing, Shanghai and other cities mentioned in the campaign, highlighted China’s skittishness over the growing unrest in the Middle East.

“Jasmine Revolution” — named for the delicate white flower symbolic in many cultures across the Middle East and Southeast Asia — was taken from the Tunisian protest movement, which led to the ouster of its president and spurred similar revolts in Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Algeria and Libya.

The government has restricted media reports and Internet access to keep citizens in the dark about the uprisings, and in recent days, the words “jasmine” and “revolution” were blocked on Twitter-like microblogging sites and search engines.

The campaign first appeared late last week on, a Chinese language website based in the U.S.

In the online postings, participants were told to shout, “We want food, we want work, we want housing, we want fairness” — popular complaints by Chinese against the authoritarian government.

But as a result of the extensive government firewall and the heavy police response, the campaign did not generate much of a response.

Hundreds of people gathered at a popular mall in Beijing Sunday, which had been designated by the campaign as a gathering spot…

The article continues at NY Daily News.

Computerworld has this article: China blocks microblogs for ‘Jasmine Revolution’

Update: Via @irishspy and @michael_yon on Twitter, China Tightens Security Ahead of Calls for Nationwide Protests

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