• Sweden's news in English

China throws out 'flashmob' Swedish blogger

TT/The Local/gm · 9 Jul 2011, 16:38

Published: 09 Jul 2011 16:38 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The Swedish Radio news programme Ekot reports that the 24-year-old man chose to make his protest on July 1st, the day that the Chinese Communist Party celebrates its 90 year anniversary.

He wrote on his Swedish language blog "I have long had in mind to try to organize something small, a small marker, which also could attract some of the paranoid authorities' attention."

In the blog, the 24-year-old called on party chairman Hu Jintao to join a flash mob to mark the occasion, although it is unknown whether the public event actually took place, because its organiser was already being held for questioning when it was due to happen.

In his blog he called on people to write the word “Freedom” in Chinese characters anywhere on their body, then congregate at a specific location in downtown Shanghai at an allotted time and stand there for five minutes.

After being strongly advised to call off his protest by, among others, the Swedish consulate, the man in the end cancelled the flashmob plan via his blog. He added that anyone actually planning to go through with the plan for the event would be doing so at their own risk.

Story continues below…

However the cancellation and his carefully worded apology, in which he said, "What I planned was illegal, to organize something like this should be applied for at least 15 days in advance," were not enough to win over the Chinese authorities. His residency permit was rescinded and the 24-year-old was duly sent back home.

TT/The Local/gm (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

18:44 July 9, 2011 by dolphin, the
''Swedish- based student in China''?
18:49 July 9, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
Let us send Carl Bildt or Roberta Alenius to defend him. He is a Swede, He can do whatever he likes in the world, mainly stupidities.
18:59 July 9, 2011 by Valdemaratterdag
He was lucky he wasn't taken behind a building and shot.
19:12 July 9, 2011 by Amber Dawn
Flash mobs are about as exciting as planking.
20:37 July 9, 2011 by eddie123
haha... funny chap. lucky chap as well.
22:57 July 9, 2011 by Nemesis
He is an idiot.

Europeans used to have signs in China stating, "No dogs and no Chinese on the lawn" in European colonies in China.

After what we Europeans did in China, we have no right what to tell the Chinese what to do.

I just hope they don't look for payback.
02:41 July 10, 2011 by Boyfriend
Oh little boy! Missing with Communists (Atheists) could result dead penalty. Come back and let the America to send troop to China to free the people and bring the freedom like they did in Afghanistan LOL. Not sure if China has oil too?
04:34 July 10, 2011 by Grokh
still want to teach kids chinese? lol
05:19 July 10, 2011 by Kina_observer
No comments. It is wise to be stupid.
08:19 July 10, 2011 by The Grand Master
I love the way Swedes take the moral high ground everywhere, sadly that is your biggest failing-arrogance.

The Chinese regime is extremely intolerant of internal dissent and this guy is extremely lucky not to be on his way to a long prison term.

'When in Rome' and all that.........
11:33 July 10, 2011 by cogito
How many times have we heard the sermon: You are in Sweden now. This is the way we do things in Sweden.

As you say, When in Rome and all that...
14:39 July 10, 2011 by Streja
There are millions of Chinese people who want to have free speech.
21:50 July 10, 2011 by eddie123

brilliant post and so true. Swedes always insist on their ideals and they never pass on an opportunity to remind one that they are now in Sweden. i wonder why they can not abide by the same terms elsewhere. if you are in China, follow Chinese rules and do things the Chinese way - period!
05:03 July 11, 2011 by Bolante007
@boyfriend... hm being communist makes you an atheist? I am sorry but did someone slept over the history class? as far as I know just because the Chinese are communist doesn't make them atheist your comment is as ignorant as your statement implying that the US brought this so called "Freedom" to Afghanistan yet they are still there fighting ghost! please if you have nothing to say just don't even bother commenting, also ill go back to english classes if I were you.
22:14 July 11, 2011 by superturbo
@Bolante007 Karl Marx stated that religion is the opium of the people, and that religion is merely a tool to control the subjects. A true commie should indeed be an atheist.

However, nowadays it seems that they are keen on cooperating with the islamists, probably because they are both anti-USA..
11:20 July 12, 2011 by BrittInSweden

If America even thought about attacking China the USA economy would collapse as China is helping keep it alive (and all the Arab wealth in US banks).

Also, why do you link Communist and Atheists? Just because I don't believe in a fictional and obsurd set of events/people written in a book doesn't make me Communist or violent.
21:28 July 12, 2011 by xiongyishi1234

Firstly i would like to say to that Swedish boy " you should feel lucky because you are a Swedish citizen, or you would be

sent to prison right now."

Back on the case. Actually what our children learn in school is to believe there is not god upon us and have a faith in religion is falsehood. As a chinese, i have experienced this education and so as our generation. There is nothing wrong if you see most Chinese as Atheists. Hence, Chinese society are very

secular and the public are intolerant with reglious things.

However, everything is changing drastically each year, no one

can predict what will happen in the future.
18:32 July 15, 2011 by Mark S.
Marxists are Atheists; if you are not an atheist, then you do not believe in all the central principles of Marxism. It would be like saying "I'm Catholic, but I don't believe Jesus was the son of God".

In the other direction, Atheism has nothing to do with Marxism. Most Atheists in the west, for example, are not Marxists.

For those of you who don't quite understand that, consider this analogy:

All Catholics are Christians. If you claim not to be a Christian, then you have no reasonable claim to be Catholic. But not all Christians are Catholic.

Now, about this guy in China: "When in Rome" doesn't apply, except in one way: The Chinese government has a history of torturing and killing people who oppose it; if you plan to challenge the Chinese government from within China, you take a great risk.
01:02 July 16, 2011 by Bolante007
Religion is stupid, without religions nowadays the world would be a more sane place.
15:39 July 16, 2011 by Alfred Nevada
Doing the "flash mobs" is kind of a dumb fad anyway.
15:41 July 23, 2011 by Icarusty
We often have flashmobs in Britain. They are pointless.

This idiot obviously wants to initiate change in China, but you know what's the worst way to do that? Have a foreigner organise something political and "radical" in the belief that the locals will follow them because they are from the enlightened lands that is "the West". The native population of any country hate it when foreigners try to change things in THEIR country. Surely Swedes have an understanding of that?
19:58 July 23, 2011 by Onnund
Yea because the Chinese students that got massacred didn't want change either.
16:06 July 24, 2011 by 51008623
I don't understand English.

I am a Chinese and I like my country very much!
22:34 July 24, 2011 by alloallo

Read again what Icarusty wrote idiot. FOREIGNERS organising protest in a FOREIGN COUNTRY won't get support from the LOCALS. If the LOCALS wanted things to change they will initiate the protest themselves because it's their country and not his or yours.
09:00 July 27, 2011 by 420
It's only idiotic if he didn't realize what the possible consequences were. He did. So he wasn't really an idiot. I applaud what he did. And contrary to what some are saying, there are plenty of Chinese who supported him.
19:28 August 11, 2011 by alloallo

"After being strongly advised to call off his protest by, among others, the Swedish consulate, the man in the end cancelled the flashmob plan via his blog. He added that anyone actually planning to go through with the plan for the event would be doing so at their own risk."

he didnt do much and got kicked out so what's the point? He wanted to be the man who freed China? What a joke. He got support from mant locals? Guess they didn't do much for this idiot to prevent him being send back home.
Today's headlines
Here's how slow Sweden's high-speed trains are getting
A Swedish SJX2000 high speed train. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

The high-speed rail journey between the three biggest Swedish cities is about to get longer.

The Local List
12 Swedish words with just awesome literal translations
A filthy-minded lobster, i.e. a snuskhummer. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

One of our favourite things about the Swedish language is its wonderful compound words, which range from being utterly bizarre to making perfect sense.

US election
Donald Trump won't get new Ericsson head's vote
Trump pictured at a campaign rally in Florida. Photo: Evan Vucci/AP

The new Swedish-American boss of telecoms giant Ericsson has revealed he will not vote for the Republican nominee in the forthcoming US presidential election.

Swedes named fourth most gender equal in the world
A file photo of men and women pushing prams in Stockholm. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Sweden has closed 81 percent of its overall gender gap according to the World Economic Forum.

Sweden: Russian warships in the Baltic 'worrying'
Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Two Russian warships equipped with long-range missiles have entered the Baltic Sea after passing Denmark.

Why businesses are worried about Sweden's drone ban
A drone filming in Stockholm. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

The Local investigates what Sweden's new drone ban could mean for businesses in the country.

This is the new top boss of Swedish Ericsson
Börje Ekholm. Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/SvD/TT

Telecoms giant Ericsson has appointed a new CEO after a turbulent year for the company.

These are Sweden's best universities: ranking
A new university ranking has been released. Photo: Cecilia Larsson Lantz/Imagebank.sweden.se

At least according to this global ranking, which picks 12 Swedish universities among the top-1000.

Swedish pharmacies restrict paracetamol sales for teens
The move is intended to cut paracetamol overdoses. Photo: Nora Lorek/TT

Sweden's pharmacies are banning teens under 18 from buying more than one pack of pills at a time.

Rwandan genocide suspect held in Sweden
A memorial centre in Kigali, Rwanda. Photo: Ben Curtis/AP

A man has been arrested in Sweden suspected of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide which claimed 800,000 lives.

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available