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Silent protest in support of Southern Weekly breaks out on Weibo

The Southern Weekly incident continues to brew on Monday. Protest broke out outside the paper’s headquarters in Guangzhou, with people holding chrysanthemums, a symbol for mourning in China, and various signs with slogans demanding freedom of speech. In a video released by the Guardian, the young people are seen singing The Internationale in Chinese, harking back to China’s revolutionary past in the last century.

On Tuesday, the paper's editorial committee was to hold a fourth round of negotiations with its top management, an anonymous Southern Weekly editor told AP.

Officials want the newspaper to publish — as per normal — on Thursday but editors are negotiating over whether to do so, and the terms under which they would be willing, for example, if they could include a letter to readers explaining the incident, the editor said.

Screen capture of the video on the Guardian website. The girl holding a guy fawkes mask is also holding a sign that reads: Give me back Southern Weekly. The characters on her breathing mask "Bi Yan Tao" literally means "avoid speech case", which is a variation based on the Chinese word for condom "Bi Yun Tao". Photo:

Echoing the public demonstration of support, on Weibo, China’s censored micro-blogging platform, the public along with the media, silently posted their support of Southern Weekly in the most genius and funny way in order to beat the blockage.

Many media and social networks coded their message of “Go Southern Weekly” on their website using the updated version of the ancient method of cryptography in classical Chinese poems. The secret is in the beginnings (like in the film The Ghost Writer): Take the first character of the headlines from the top of the page downwards, and put them together, you get their message.

Pictures on the right are two examples of the encoded messages found on many online media outlets. The message in the top one reads: Hold on Southern Weekly. The bottom one reads: Go Southern Weekly.

The picture on the left has been branded by the censor as "false message" as seen on its top section. The man in the picture, holding a bunch of flowers and a copy of the Southern Weekly and standing in front of the Southern Media Group's Beijing News Center is said to be the celebrity CCTV commentator Bai Yansong.  Photo:

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Rhythm Media Group is a multi-media company, operating a US-based Chinese daily newspaper, The China Press, and the paper's website - (which has mobile-app version), as well as a Beijing-based English website The group boasts 15 branch offices across the US, and a number of cultural centers focusing on culture-related business in the North America, Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

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