A recent protest outside of a Bank of China location in Zhengzhou, Henan was violently broken up by large groups of belligerent men clad in white shirts.
The protesters gathered to demand the bank allow them to withdraw their money. Numerous banks in the area have frozen people’s accounts.
Some reports allege that these holds are linked to allegations against higher ups in the bank relating to financial crimes. Whatever the cause, people were livid at their inability to access much needed money, especially during the ongoing pandemic.
Many that attempted to attend the protest were stopped as their COIVD tracking apps turned red, barring them from travel. Others headed out around 4 in the morning in order to evade detainment.
As protesters gathered on a set of stairs by the bank, their numbers and their outrage grew. Soon police began showing up. Many were in plainclothes and started telling the people to disperse via loudspeakers.
The protesters were having none of this and chanted for the bank to give them their money. Many likewise flew the PRC flag, a common tactic seen at protests in China to show that they are patriotic and just want their issues to be addressed (Tiananmen was an example of this).
Eventually, thugs in white shirts charged the protestors and began savagely beating many of them. Some in the crowd threw water bottles at the men.
Protesters were suppressed by plainclothes in front of the Bank of China in Zhengzhou on Sunday. Why the protest? Thousands of people have not been able to withdraw money from their accounts since April. Take a look:pic.twitter.com/wMWwHidNNw
— Steve Hanke (@steve_hanke) July 11, 2022
However, many protesters were detained and placed on transport vehicles that took them to temporary detention facilities. Some that were more viciously beaten were taken to hospitals. Most were reportedly released later in the afternoon.
The entire scene is extremely reminiscent of what happened in Hong Kong’s Yuen Long Station in July of 2019. Peaceful protesters, and many civilians that happened to just be in the station, were violently attacked by what seems to be Chinese-backed gangsters in white shirts.
Suspected gang members in white shirts beat protesters and journalists (including a Stand News HK reporter) at Hong Kong’s Yuen Long Station for nearly an hour with no police in sight. https://t.co/uOXyOIETZC
— Andrew Peng (@TheAPJournalist) July 21, 2019
These violent tactics seem to be a favorite of the CCP. With the continuing inability of many citizens to access what might be life or death funds in China, there will likely be more protests, and likely more unacceptable violence from CCP thugs.