China university students protest Marxist group shakeup


A dozen students from a top Chinese university staged a protest on Friday after the school removed the president of an on-campus Marxist group amid an ongoing crackdown on student activists this year.

The students gathered in an open area in front of an academic building where they held up signs and shouted slogans protesting the change in the society’s leadership. But security moved in almost immediately and started pulling students away, forcing some to the ground while others were pushed towards a waiting black car.

“Today, students of the Peking University Marxist Society who were holding signs and protesting were forcibly corrected,” the group said in a statement. “Security personnel used violence to disperse students, who were pulled into the school building, many students were injured!”

Peking University did not immediately respond to AFP’s request for comment.

The university said on Thursday that it “restructured” the student-run Marxist group, replacing core members and student leaders, including former president Qiu Zhanxuan, with their own picks. Many of the 32 new members are from the Communist Youth League or the Communist Party.

The move came one day after Mr. Qiu was detained by police for “disturb(ing) the public order” on campus by singing and holding slogans. A witness said Mr. Qiu was arrested for attempting to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Mao Zedong, whose legacy in China remains controversial.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 2:28:41 PM |

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