Dozens of young Chinese, angry at disruption of the Olympic torch relay in Paris, protested outside a Carrefour branch in east China on Friday, setting fire to a French flag, waving banners and shouting slogans, local media said.My translation of the account carried by the French online version of the Belgian newspaper 7Sur7:
Local media photos showed the protesters holding up banners that read "Boycott France, Support the Olympics" and "Oppose Tibet independence, Love the motherland."
Anti-French protests erupted Saturday in four Chinese cities, targeting the Carrefour franchise, to protest against France's attitude on Tibet and the Olympic games. ...
The largest gathering took place in Wuhan, an industrial city in central China, of eight million people, according to police and witnesses. Hundreds of Chinese, up to thousands, marched in front of Carrefour stores. The protestors began by assembling before a first store before heading to other neighborhoods, added the same source. "There were several hundred protestors, calm, a majority of them youths, they didn't hang around for long, they carried Chinese flags", said another witness over the phone. According to police, there were 300 people at first, then the procession quickly fleshed itself out. An informed source, quoting police, said that the protest had attracted 10,000 people by noon, a number that AFP could not independantly confirm. According to this source, the protestors were "very well organized"....
["Joan of Arc = Prostitute" "Napoleon = Pervert" "France = Nazi" "Free Corsica" ]
Protestors carried a French flag defiled with swastikas and calling Joan of Arc a "prostitute". Police in Wuhan did not wish to comment.
The online account carried by France's main newspaper, Le Figaro, has gathered over 190 comments as I write this. Scanning through the comments, there seem to be a significant number expressing sympathy... with the Chinese protestors!
A translated sampling of remaks:
realityman, 19/04/2008 12:32
in china, we are more free than is thought except when it's against the power in charge or against the interest of the country.... Generally, educated people are very well informed by chinese media and foreign media (the Le Monde, Figaro, cnn etc websites are all accessible and are not censored. For that matter all sites are accessible with a proxy) the people read a lot of different sources of information. On the other hand in france, ideas against chinese and calling them all kinds of names are permitted. Which goes to show, democracy is a good thing only if the public is well informed. This is far from being the case in france... disturbing.
taoguy, 19/04/2008 12:04
I'm ashamed of being french. i saw our athletes insulted by the french. On the olympic flame's journey through France, it was the chinese in France that applauded the french athletes. We have no lesson to give to the chinese. Our values are not universal. France is a racist and selfish nation. I invite all those who speak without knowledge to study the history of China and Tibet. Insulting China serves no purpose, what is needed is to work with China, welcome chinese to France, send students to study in China...
sam, 19/04/2008 15:35
it builds, it builds and then it bursts... I only hope that it won't be us, we french in china, who'll suffer the consequences from the irresponsabily of some long distance defenders of certain values that they themselves refuse to apply... for the moment, working only with chinese, I feel no antipathy... the next time, before acting, think about the consequences and put your misplaced pride elsewhere, especially when you haven't mastered the subject... and that the subject barely concerns you.