University authorities suppress student protest in China
29 December 2018
Students at the prestigious Peking University yesterday held a protest against the decision by university authorities to suppress the Marxist student society. While the demonstration only involved about a dozen students peacefully chanting holding up placards, university guards quickly moved in to break it up and drag the protesters away.
“Give us back our Marxist student society, resist violence on campus,” the students chanted. Witnesses told the South China Morning Post that the students had locked arms. Some were injured as security guards forced them into a building, manhandling and in some cases carrying them inside.
“Several of them were pushed to the ground and suffered cuts to their hands and some had their glasses broken in the struggle,” according to one witness. At least eight of the students were still being held yesterday evening.
The protest followed the restructuring of the Marxist student society by university authorities to ensure it was firmly under their political control. It replaced the society’s leaders, including its president Qui Zhanxuan, and installed some 32 new members, many of whom were members of the Communist Youth League or the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The immediate pretext for the society’s suppression was an attempt by Qui to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the birth of former CCP leader Mao Zedong on December 26 1893. He had invited students throughout the country to take part in online events to mark the occasion.
Qui was detained by police on Tuesday, given a written warning for “disrupting campus order” and then released on Thursday. He was among the students protesting yesterday and is still being held.
Members of the…