Chairman Mao rears his head at the protests. Behind his portrait is a placard saying “打倒日本军国主义！Down with Japanese Imperialism!”
You read our report of Tuesday’s Mukden Incident protests, held nationwide and here in Shanghai at the Consulate-General of Japan to mark the 81st anniversary of the invasion of the Imperial Japanese Army into Manchuria, and to protest Japan’s nationalisation of the disputed islands known as Diaoyu to China and Senkaku to Japan. Now we’ve got the videos. We apologise these have come somewhat late. We took a while to sort through the videos we took, believing it was important to document this slice of history in moving picture format. And we hope they’ll give you a more complete sense of the mood on the ground that day.
Here’s what we saw when we got to the protest location. All roads leading to and surrounding the Japanese consulate were cordoned off. Massive crowds had come ready to protest, but it was going to be a long wait.
A man rallies the crowd to sing the Chinese national anthem. Another man decides to charge through the police lines. Fortunately for him, they released him soon afterwards.
A group of protestors chant anti-Japan slogans as they march from one security barricade to the next. On our street leading to the Japan Consulate-General, alone, several barricades had been set up. Protestors would be allowed to move in batch by batch.
Here, protestors sing the national anthem again. They must have sung it a million times that day.
Among the most common anti-Japan slogans that were heard that day: “Down with Little Japan!” “Down with Japanese imperialism!” “Boycott Japanese products!” “The blood debt must be returned with blood!”
The march past the Japan consulate in itself was rather anti-climactic. Protestors had waited for hours, and here they were allowed to stay in front of the consulate for barely two minutes. At an earlier protest on Sunday, demonstrators stayed some 20 min here.
The weird end-of-protest announcement we heard at the end of the march past the consulate: “You have rationally expressed your patriotism. Please hand over your flags and protest placards. Kindly cooperate with police officers in an orderly fashion. For your convenience, the Public Security Bureau has arranged free buses to take you to the subway station.” How thoughtful!
Protestors weren’t ready to leave and continued to linger around. One man uses the loudhailer to rally the crowd in chanting anti-Japan slogans.
Cops move in to arrest people with loudhailers. The crowd, unable to understand, why police have taken away one of their own accuse the police of being “traitors” and “running dogs”
Police forcibly pulled several protestors away and pinned them to the ground. The crowds go berserk. This scene would be repeated many times at the post-protest outside the Japan consulate.
Also read: Our report of the 918 anti-Japan protests here.