The crackdown against the recent wave of “patriotic” KFC protests in China seems to have been taken up a notch with the arrest of three individuals in Henan charged with planning to blockade and boycott the American fast food shop.
According to a statement released by the public security bureau of Puyang, the three individuals were detained on Tuesday for organizing netizens to boycott and block two KFC locations in the city, obstructing the restaurants’ regular business operations. The three — all men, aged 33, 36 and 41 — will be detained from 13 to 15 days for their offense.
So far, protests have broken out in front of KFCs in at least 12 cities across China, riding a wave of nationalistic sentiments following the South China Sea ruling in The Hague and the installation of the THADD missile defense system in South Korea. Many Chinese citizens believe that the US was pulling the strings behind both of these events and have targeted American brands, like Apple and KFC, for boycott and destruction.
Chinese state media has published a number of editorials calling for more “rationalism patriotism” and police have been called in to scatter protesters. Though that hasn’t always worked so well. On Tuesday one incident between police and protesters turned violent outside a KFC restaurant in Qinhuangdao, Hebei province. While shouting “Patriotism is not illegal,” a mob of “patriots” attacked one officer who was trying to take away their banners.
Meanwhile, other “patriots” are still finding ways to show their disgust.