Chinese Activists Test New Leader and Are Crushed
By ANDREW JACOBS and CHRIS BUCKLEY
BEIJING — The 20 or so activists gathered at an isolated guesthouse on the outskirts of the capital, leaving their cellphones behind to avoid detection by the police. China’s first leadership change in a decade was fast approaching, and the group saw an opening for a movement to fight injustice and official corruption.
That day, in May 2012, they began work on a plan to expand the New Citizens Movement, an ambitious campaign for transparency and fairness that would eventually draw as many as 5,000 supporters, inspire street protests across the country and provide the first major test to help gauge the new leadership’s tolerance for grass-roots political activism.
They were heartened when China’s new leader, Xi Jinping, came to power that November, vowing to stamp out corruption, promote judicial fairness and respect the Constitution, goals tantalizingly close to their own.
Now, 14 months later, their ideals have collided with a harsh reality.
Read the rest of "Chinese Activists Test New Leader and are Crushed"