On the night of May 11, 2021, a large number of people gathered in front of Chengdu 49 Middle School, shouting for the truth about Lin Weiqi’s death. But they were quickly suppressed by the police.
A high school student in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, died in a bizarre fall from a building on school grounds. The lack of transparency in the handling of the incident by the school and the police led to protests by family, friends and the public at the school, which eventually led to a clash between the police and the public. At the same time, the media was banned from reporting on the incident, and the entire school was banned from being interviewed, and some people were taken to the police station when they went to photograph the incident. Public opinion criticized officials for deliberately concealing the truth about the tragedy and causing the mass incident, but online water forces blamed the incitement of hostile forces from abroad. (By Huang Xiaoshan/Cheng Wen)
Two days after the death of sophomore Lin Weiqi who fell from a building on campus, friends and relatives of the deceased and a large number of people protested outside the 49th High School on Tuesday night, demanding the school to give an account of the incident, which eventually led to a clash between the police and the public. The local educator, Mr. Shi, told the station that the police arrested many people during the incident, and the subsequent situation of those arrested is unknown. The police are still on high alert around 49th High School. Mr. Shi believes that the lack of transparency in the handling of the incident by the official authorities is the main cause of the clashes between the police and the public.
Mr. Shi said: there is no accurate conclusion. It is the doll himself jumped, but the trigger for him to jump, is not any conclusion. The school, public security, the Education Bureau, also did not say. Now there is a big question, is the doll is not outside his classroom jumped, but to go to the administrative building jumped. He went to the administrative building by himself? Or did the teacher call him to go? This is also unclear. No one at the school is accepting interviews these days.
During the clash, a female reporter from Beijing had her arm scratched by a police officer. According to Xie Junbiao, a citizen of Chengdu, he was arrested and beaten by police officers at the Jumping Stomp River police station on Tuesday morning (11) while taking photos across the street from 49th Middle School. Local media sources told us that the matter is highly sensitive in Chengdu, and all media members have been told not to speak out, and local media are not reporting. Under official control, people in the education system in Chengdu’s Chenghua District, including 49th High School, have been asked not to talk about the incident to the public. Some media have tried to contact teachers and outreach staff at 49th High School privately, but they are afraid to even answer their phones.
Our reporter repeatedly called Tang, who is in charge of outreach at 49th High School, but he never answered his phone. No one answered the phone of the Chenghua District Education Bureau either.
Cheng Yizhong, a former media personality from the Southern Newspaper Group, pointed out that the transformation of the crash into a conflict between the police and the public is an inevitable result of China’s political ecology. Essentially, like the concealment of SARS in 2003 and the concealment of the new crown epidemic last year, it was an official attempt to conceal basic information that led to the deterioration of the situation. Whether it is a serious public security issue or a general emergency, the Communist Party will only report the good news but not the bad.
Cheng Yizhong said: “Why is it that whenever there is an emergency like this in China, or a natural or man-made disaster, the first thing the authorities think of is to keep the media quiet? And then, by it to unify the voice, or is simply airtight, to cover it up. Why don’t they learn a lesson? I think it’s the political climate in China that determines this. In the Chinese Communist Party, this political supremacy, stability overriding this thinking, all these social alerts, warnings, there is no way to send out.
The police issued a notice Tuesday night saying that the family of the deceased has accepted the conclusion of the police investigation. At the same time, online water forces with an official background are launching a new round of public opinion, claiming that the protests and clashes that took place on Tuesday night were the result of manipulation by forces outside the country. The protesters held flowers and shouted slogans for the truth, which were all organized by hostile forces. On the other hand, the Weibo account of the mother of the deceased Lin Weiqi has stopped updating, but it is not known if she stopped using it on her own or if it was controlled by officials. It is not known whether the family and the school have reached a financial compensation agreement.
According to the limited information from the local education sector, the student fell from the school on the evening of the 9th of this month, the only thing that can be confirmed is that he jumped himself, but why he jumped, the school, and the police are all silent. This non-transparent attitude has made many people suspicious of the incident, and the situation has expanded again and again, eventually leading to mass incidents.