Hundreds of protestors were planning to gather in central China after their funds were frozen. Chinese authorities quickly stopped them with pandemic measures.
China implemented an electronic pass to ensure safe travel during the pandemic. With that implementation, citizens can only access public transport and spaces like restaurants and malls if they have a green code on their Covid app.
Over 200 protestors about to travel to protest had their travel codes turn red. The measures to reduce viral transmission were now weaponized against protestors. One protestor whose code turned red said, "I can't do anything, I can't go anywhere. You're treated as though you're a criminal. It infringes on my human rights.”
“The red code was definitely used to limit us,” another protestor said. “It was a complete absurdity.”
Many on the right opposed such measures in the United States for these reasons. Although there were pushes by many, like Dr. Anthony Fauci, to create more surveillance and tracking for pandemic reasons, many feared that these systems could be abused politically. China is now a clear example of what that would look like.