A viral video purportedly showing actual Shanghai residents complaining about the Communist Party’s brutal coronavirus lockdown in China’s largest city went viral this weekend in the country, reportedly angering censors trying to crack it down.
The six-minute video, titled “The Voice of April,” features audio recordings of suspected local Shanghai residents complaining about living conditions and lack of medicine and supplies.
— 自由亚洲电台 (@RFA_Chinese) April 22, 2022
The video begins with recordings of official Chinese government announcements denying “rumors” that Shanghai would be placed under a strict citywide lockdown, followed by clips recorded throughout the month of April illustrating the suffering that has taken place. Shanghai residents suffered after the Chinese government placed the city under lockdown that it denied would ever happen. Communist Party leaders claim the lockdown is necessary to contain an outbreak of the omicron variant of the Chinese coronavirus.
“Since the outbreak started in Shanghai, many people have spoken out in the last month. However, most of these voices were quickly erased from the internet in China and people have become desensitized to the situation over time,” the original post read, before it was removed.
“The Voice of April” instantly went viral on Chinese social media websites Weibo and WeChat before it was removed by the Chinese government, which heavily regulates both sites. Chinese users defied the censorship and continued to circulate the video with different titles and by using QR codes embedded in the images, mirroring the video, applying filters to it, and uploading it through cloud services.
Copies of the video are readily available outside of China on websites such as YouTube, where copies of the video with unofficial English subtitles can also be found.
The more than 20 audio clips feature the voices of people identified as Shanghainese complaining about their current living conditions as a result of the lockdowns, including residents of a compound clamoring for supplies and even a frustrated suspected government official. due to lack of food and medicine.
“This virus cannot kill us. Hunger can,” a male voice is heard saying, according to the unofficial translation.
The video also features recorded voices of residents locked inside their apartments, someone claiming to be a dog owner who saw their dog killed by Communist Party officials, needy people with conditions other than the Chinese coronavirus who accuse hospitals of deny them attention and people who accuse the government of locking them in their homes, among others. The video culminates with a “get well soon Shanghai” message.
After the video went viral and was banned, its creator, who goes by the pseudonym “Strawberry Fields Forever,” said he was “moved” by the messages received, but presumably terrified of any fallout from the Chinese government, urging the people to stop sharing. the video.
The strict lockdown imposed on Shanghai as part of the Chinese government’s “zero-Covid” policy has led to severe food shortages and made it extremely difficult for its 26 million people to obtain food, supplies and medical assistance. Civil unrest and protests have reportedly broken out. Residents are reportedly kept locked inside their homes, with door alarms installed to prevent any escape. Officials forcibly evacuated residents from their apartments and houses and threw them into quarantined isolation centers.
Those who test positive for the Chinese coronavirus are sent to crowded and overcrowded quarantine centers, where reports indicate they endure unsanitary and inhumane conditions, with little food and no privacy. Despite strict measures taken by the Chinese government, daily record deaths have been documented in Shanghai, according to Chinese regime statistics.
Since the Communist Party strongly censors any information coming out of China, evidence of the reality in Shanghai has emerged around the world largely in video snippets circulating online and difficult to independently verify. Government propaganda media, such as the global times They have admitted, however, that the lockdown has brought residents “doubts, anxiety and fatigue”.
Christian K. Caruzo is a Venezuelan writer and documents life under socialism. You can follow him on Twitter here.