Beijing Students Tear Down Metal Fence Trapping Them Inside Dorms
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Peking University students in Beijing on Sunday night tore down part of a metal fence that administrators erected without warning hours earlier after the students realized it effectively sealed them inside their dormitories and prevented them from accessing any other section of the campus as part of the school’s anti-Chinese coronavirus protocol, Hong Kong’s the Standard newspaper reported.

“The fences appeared on Sunday night [May 15] without warning outside the students’ dormitories, where those inside were forbidden from leaving. Students were also barred from ordering takeaway food and restricted from accessing the school campus,” according to the Standard.

A large group of students gathered outside some of the affected dormitories and staged a protest against the movement restrictions hours later, drawing the attention of Peking University Vice President Chen Baojian. Eyewitness video footage of the confrontation showed Chen telling the gathered students through a megaphone, “Please go back to your dormitory in an orderly manner” and, “If anyone, any student has an opinion tonight, we can talk about it.”

“However, students were not buying it and insisted the fences must go before they return to their dormitories,” the Standard relayed.

Moments later, video footage captured what appears to be students forcibly tearing down sections of the metal fence in question directly behind Chen before rounds of supportive applause erupt among the crowd.

“Chen later told the crowd that he agreed to remove the fences, and called on students to ‘stop recording to protect the university,’ but the students responded that the recording was to protect themselves,” the Standard reported

Beijing’s population of 21.3 million is currently under various degrees of movement restrictions as China’s ruling Communist Party attempts to contain the city’s latest epidemic of the Chinese coronavirus. The fences erected by Peking University on May 16 angered students not only because they were put in place without warning but because they unfairly applied only to students of the school and not to its faculty or administrators.

“They can’t enforce restrictions on Beida [Peking University] faculty, because they live in the same blocks as the middle-ranking [Communist Party] cadres and university leaders,” Chinese political commentator Ji Fenghe told Radio Free Asia (RFA) on May 16. “They’re not going to impose lockdown on themselves.”

Beijing’s government is directly administered by China’s central government, which has adhered to an increasingly unpopular “zero tolerance” policy toward the Chinese coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. The extreme protocol often sees Communist Party workers forcibly seal off entire residential communities from the outside for weeks at a time in the name of containing local outbreaks of the disease.

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