Shanghai has been closed for more than a month, and extreme epidemic prevention measures have caused public outrage. Recently, Shanghai police summoned a citizen accused of playing “The Internationale”—a song once highly promoted by the CCP but now feared by the authorities—. 

The case attracted the attention of netizens, and censors officially blocked all related topics on the Internet soon.

On May 5, a video circulating on Chinese social media triggered the widespread concern of the online community. In the video, many policemen outside a house door took the male owner (of the house) away to investigate because he was suspected of playing the song “The Internationale.”

 “The Internationale” was originally the anthem of the international communist movement. It has been the standard of the socialist movement since the late nineteenth century, when the Second International adopted it as its official anthem. The author of the anthem’s lyrics, Eugène Pottier is an anarchist. The song was later adapted to an original melody composed by Pierre De Geyter, a Marxist.

The song has been adopted as the anthem of the anarchist, communist, socialist, democratic socialist, and social democratic movements. Qu Qiubai, an early leader of the CCP, translated the Chinese version and played “The Internationale” at important CCP events. At the celebration of the foundation of the Communist Party in China, “July 1” last year, the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party urged the audience to sing “The Internationale.”

This video, recorded by a woman in the house, shows an officer telling the man, “Because we heard you played the International Anthem, we want you to cooperate with our investigation.” The woman asked, “You still want to take people out? What if my husband gets sick? Who will take the responsibility?”

A policeman with a very tough attitude suddenly rushed toward them and said, “The police are calling him now!” The woman asked him, “Why are you so aggressive with me?” She continued, “I wanted to ask you why you sent my husband out to investigate.”

The husband immediately said, “It’s because they suspect someone is playing The Internationale. Now it’s also a sin to play The Internationale.” The wife then said, “What’s wrong with playing The Internationale?”

Then, the hostess scolded a policeman next to her: “Don’t look at me like that. Why are you looking at me like that?”

The man had no choice but to go to the police station for the investigation.

The video went viral, and the authorities quickly blocked the related topics.

After watching the video, many mainland netizens commented indignantly, “They have that much free time to arrest the one who plays The Internationale. How busy is Shanghai? Isn’t it hysterical? Playing The Internationale can still be called for an investigation?”

One Internet user said: “In an era of increasingly acute social conflicts, due to injustice and moral decline, China is facing serious internal divisions, between officials and citizens, between classes, between industries, relationships among people are filled with hostility and confrontation, profiteering is rampant, officials are corrupt, the vast majority of workers at the bottom are increasingly helpless, the scene in the international anthem is vividly recreated.”

Why is a song that was once promoted by the CCP now so scary for the authorities?

Early last month, Shanghai, a city with more than 25 million people, was completely locked down. The authorities implemented a strict “zero covid” policy, which caused serious secondary disasters that made people protest.

In desperation, many people called for “Action to smash the pot for food” and protested by banging their pots and pans; some residents sang the “The Internationale” on their balcony at night with the lyrics “Arise ye pris’ners of starvation.” Signs of resistance from the people have frightened the authorities.

The closure of Shanghai has created a large number of humanitarian disasters. Recently, a video posted on the Internet showed the scene of an older adult being beaten by a nurse in the hospital. A netizen recognized the older man in the video as his recently deceased relative. The family (then) questioned the cause of death.

Chinese-language television channel Vision Times reported that the mainland’s Xiaoxiao Morning News on May 5 said that on the evening of May 4, a video of a nurse suspected of beating an elderly person circulated on the Internet. “The nurse kicks and hits the elderly several times in the video.” Some people pointed out that the incident site was a community hospital in the Huangpu district of Shanghai. The relevant departments are currently investigating.

On May 4, a Weibo user named “Escape from Beicai Garbage Town” posted information confirming this is his grandfather: “The 87-year-old man had to call the emergency service 120 and was hospitalized due to poor health, and was later transferred to the hospital in the Huangpu district. At that time, we were not allowed to enter the hospital due to the epidemic. After being isolated on March 18, we only knew my grandfather’s condition based on the video provided by the doctor. The nurse gave it to us. Grandpa passed away on May 2. Our family never imagined that he was kicked and beaten by a nurse before he died. The Funeral home staff wouldn’t let us come close, so we could only watch from afar. The incident is currently under investigation.”

The online video shows an older adult sitting on the ground in a messy room in a hospital suit, being scolded and kicked by a woman in a blue nursing suit, while the disabled older man sits on the ground, unable to resist. After a while, the nurse took another stick and hit the older man’s hand hard.

This person added: “We kept his situation a secret from our grandmother for fear that she would not be able to accept it. Now that we know that our grandmother has seen the video of her husband being beaten, please don’t say any more things. What not to say to an elderly person. We hope no more unexpected things will happen”.

An indignant netizen said: “All those who are not equal to animals should be arrested and sentenced! I hope people pay attention to this incident; there must be a fair outcome (for this)!”

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