Taikang Lu has developed rapidly in the last few months — expanding from the original alleyway into a sprawling collection of labyrinthine lanes populated by galleries, arty shops, and some great restaurants. However, the revitalisation of Taikang Lu hasn’t been welcomed by everyone. Yesterday, on a gloriously sunny afternoon that saw large numbers of people flock to the area, some local residents decided to voice their dissent against the ongoing development.
Three white and blue banners were unfurled on one of the lanes — two suspended from a washing line and one hung under the windows of a residential block. The banners carried a simple message:
“Resolutely oppose all activities that disturb residents”
“Let me live a peaceful life”
“and have a peaceful living environment”
Naturally, these banners caused much consternation on the ground and it wasn’t long before a small crowd gathered. The police showed up and, after initially seeming unsure what to do, decided to enter the building adjacent to the washing line and tackle the first two banners. As they were halfway through removing the banners, a woman who lived in the building (and who Shanghaiist guesses was responsible for putting up the signs in the first place) returned from the shops.
Finding two policemen on her balcony tearing down the washing line, the woman shrieked loudly and attempted to wrestle the banners from them. This caused a large group of residents to run into the building, quickly followed by other policemen, and chaos ensued — with lots of heated arguing and finger pointing — before the police were able to get everyone out of the building and carry the banners away. While shouted arguments between residents and business people continued, the police turned their attention to the banner hung below the windows of the residential building. After around fifteen minutes of trying, they still seemed unable to gain access to the building and instead attempted to diffuse the situation with big smiles and a “nothing to see here folks, please be on your way” routine. Shanghaiist was moved along, as were most people who had witnessed the preceding events, presumably whilst the police tackled the remaining banner. When we returned a little while later, the final banner had disappeared as well.