A bicycle brigade of more than 10,000 college students, some burning copies of the Communist Party newspaper, flooded the streets of Beijing Wednesday to step up demands for press freedoms.
Thousands of students in the central city of Taiyuan, 250 miles southwest of Beijing, staged "massive demonstrations" and a sit-in at Shanxi provincial government offices Wednesday, demanding to meet with the governor, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said.It was the first reported demonstration outside Beijing since May 4 when hundreds of thousands of students in more than 15 cities took to the streets and called for democracy.
In the first move against students in their four-week democracy movement, several students were expelled from two Beijing colleges for participating in the demonstrations for greater political freedom, a Chinese source said.
The six-hour parade of bicycles tied up traffic throughout central Beijing and attracted thousands of spectators as students rallied outside the offices of major newspapers and broadcast outlets.
It was the biggest street protest since a massive demonstration last Thursday on the anniversary of the 1919 May Fourth Movement, a historic student movement for democracy. But it was considerably smaller and few average Chinese joined in as they did last week.
"Central People's Broadcasting turns white into black and truth into lies," they chanted outside the national radio station, which was among the media organs criticized for failing to accurately report the largest pro-democracy demonstrations in 40 years.
Outside the huge compound housing the Communist Party official newspaper, People's Daily, students ceremonially burned copies of the newspaper they have blasted for flatly ignoring protests then distorting their aims.
Students also passed out pamphlets condemning "suppression" of students who participated in the unrest, though the hand-outs did not specify what actions had been taken.
But a Communist Party source said students from the Beijing Institute of Aeronautics and the Central Academy of Design were expelled by school authorities for taking part in protests.
Chinese sources said photographs of the more than 300 journalists who participated have been turned over to their newspapers and to the municipal party committee.