China scrambles to contain viral ‘Voice of April’ video on Shanghai lockdown

A viral video purportedly showing real Shanghainese complaining about the Communist Party’s brutal coronavirus lockdown in China’s largest city went viral in the country over the weekend, apparently upsetting censors trying to suppress it.

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.

The video begins with recordings of official Chinese government announcements in which they deny ‘rumors’ that Shanghai will be placed under a harsh citywide lockdown – followed by clips recorded throughout the month of April which illustrate the suffering Shanghai residents endured after the Chinese government placed the city under lockdown which it denied would ever happen. Communist Party leaders say the lockdown is needed to contain an outbreak of the omicron variant of the Chinese coronavirus.

“Since the outbreak began in Shanghai, so many people have spoken out over the past month. However, the majority of these voices were quickly erased from the Chinese internet and people became numb to the situation over the time,” the original post said, before it was deleted.

“April’s Voice” instantly went viral on Chinese social media sites Weibo and WeChat before the Chinese government, which heavily regulates both sites, took it down. Chinese users defied censorship and continued to stream the video with different titles and using QR codes embedded on the images, mirroring the video, applying filters to it, and uploading it via 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 individuals identified as Shanghai residents complaining about their current living conditions due to the closures, such as residents of a compound demanding supplies and even an alleged government official frustrated with lack of food and medicine.

“This virus cannot kill us. Famine can do it,” a male voice can be heard saying, according to the unofficial translation.

The video also features recorded voices of residents locked in their apartments, someone claiming to be a dog owner who saw Communist Party officials kill his dog, people in need suffering from illnesses other than the Chinese coronavirus accusing hospitals of denying them care, and individuals accusing the government of locking them up at home, among other things. The video ends with a “get better soon, Shanghai” message.

After the video went viral and banned, its creator, who goes by the pseudonym ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, said he was “touched” by the messages received, but likely terrified of any repercussions from the Chinese government, he urged 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 assistance. medical. Civil unrest and demonstrations reportedly took place. Residents would be locked inside their homes, with door alarms installed to prevent escape. Authorities forcibly evacuated residents from their apartments and homes and dumped them in quarantined isolation centers.

Those who test positive for the Chinese coronavirus are sent to cramped and overcrowded quarantine centers, where reports say they endure unsanitary and inhumane conditions, with barely any food and no privacy. Despite strict measures taken by the Chinese government, daily record deaths have been documented in Shanghai – according to statistics from the Chinese regime.

While the Communist Party heavily censors any information from China, evidence of the reality in Shanghai has surfaced around the world largely in snippets of videos circulating online and is difficult to independently verify. Government propaganda organs such as the world times admitted, however, that the lockdown has brought residents “doubt, anxiety and fatigue”.

Christian K. Caruzo is a Venezuelan writer and documents life under socialism. You can follow him on Twitter here.


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