In public, in China, when folks are (shall we say) more than a little irritated.
Remember some months back when I mentioned that the old Shanghai Film Studio was being torn down to make way for a new business building? Well, here’s the link (you’ll have to scroll down for the pictures). There was some minor (read: next to nothing) protests at the time, but now it has been announced that the builders are planning on expanding a quaint neighborhood street into a two-lane road (honestly, this is a beautiful lane that is homey and safe for children to ride their bikes on, with little kitties living in courtyards, and small shops and homes, and elderly folks sitting on stools, shooting the breeze at all hours of the day and night), and the construction site itself will kick up dust and dirt, while the resulting building will block the view and sunlight of everyone in the apartment complex next door. Because of that, the neighbors are now expressing their displeasure a bit more formally. Holding an open discussion on the exterior of a 30 story building.
Here’s a sampling of what some of the banners say:
Shanghai Movie Film Environmental Assessment Fake. Lying to the Government Hurts the People.
Shanghai Stadium Give Back My Sunshine, My Green Land, Give Back My Air.
Central Government Asks People to Harmonize. Why Do [the builders] Want To Be Against the Central Government?
Now, I’ve been told that the apartment building’s management gave permission for those banners to be hung, which probably means they had permission from someone much higher up the governmental food chain. Maybe. I’m no expert.
Still, as I walk down that street quite often when I’m in China, I do have some interest in how all this turns out. I continue to be irritated that the Shanghai Film Studio (and a historic nunnery) was torn down to make way for this construction.