We first saw it on TV and then in person on the streets of Nagoya: protests against the Osprey. Turns out they are against a plan by the American military to deploy 12 of the Osprey in Japan because of the possible unsafe nature of the aircraft. In the photo above, a man on (extremely loud) loudspeaker advocates for the abolishment of the planned deployment. Around him, volunteers try to hand us materials advocating their position.
I'm surprised I don't hear about incidents like this more often. From The New York Times:
Thousands of people threw water bottles and blocked traffic at a popular nature preserve in northeastern China on Sunday after word spread that the arrival of top Communist Party leaders was causing an hours-long wait to visit a scenic lake. It was one of a string of brash confrontations in recent months between the authorities and Chinese citizens.
Why is this important?
the specter of middle-class citizens fearlessly standing up to their otherwise omnipotent leaders is a scenario that fills Communist Party officials with dread. Xiao Qiang, director of the China Internet Project at the University of California, Berkeley, said the incident reveals the accumulated anger that many ordinary Chinese feel toward their government. “There was no serious injustice here, yet it did not take much for them to stand up and protest,” he said.
Yesterday I was with an expat friend who lives in Hong Kong (but comes to Shenzhen for work) and a Chinese mainland friend. The HK expat friend brought up this advertisement, which was published Wednesday in one of Hong Kong's most popular newspapers and is now getting a lot of press.
The conversation went something like this (take from it what you will):
Expat: "So, you see how all the Hongkongese are calling mainlanders locusts?"
Expat: "A big ad in the Apple Daily yesterday, which is a large news paper in Hong Kong, said that mainlanders are like locusts. Was a big page ad!"
Mainlander: "What's a locust?"
Expat: "It's like a grasshopper but goes around in big swarms and eats everything in its path, leaving nothing."
Mainlander: "I don't know it."
Expat: "Look it up right now. L-O-C-U-S-T."
Mainlander: "Let me look... [typing on the computer]... oh, a 蝗 (huang)? Okay, I know it. Why?"
Expat: "Because you're all going to Hong Kong, destroying everything. They don't want you around."
Mainlander: "So HK people don't want us mainland people going and spending millions of dollars and giving them money and buying things and helping their economy?"
Expat: "Guess not."
Mainlander: "Okay, we won't go. No problem. Don't have to buy anything anymore from Hong Kong. Hope they like that."