CHINA: End of the Wall

Farewell to free expression

Since late last year, "democracy wall," along Peking's broad Chang An Avenue, represented a unique and hopeful experiment in China's tightly controlled society. It was a place where everyone from political critics to whimsical poets could paste up wall posters, which are protected by China's 1978 constitution. Thousands of people sometimes came to the wall to read the patchwork quilt of personal grievances, sharply worded essays demanding more freedom, and short stories and poems. Last week the Municipal Revolutionary Committee of Peking, clearly acting at the direction of the Chinese Communist Party, issued a strict prohibition of...

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