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Beijing sees rare big protest as people push back on COVID measures

Police urge them to go home but avoid confrontation

People gather for a vigil and hold white sheets of paper in protest of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions, as they commemorate the victims of a fire in Urumqi, as outbreaks of the coronavirus disease continue in Beijing on Nov. 27.   © Reuters

Disaffected Chinese staged a highly unusual large-scale protest in Beijing on Sunday night and early Monday as frustration with the country's strict zero-COVID policy continued to boil over.

The crowd gathered on the streets of an area that is home to many foreign embassies. Demonstrators shouted such phrases as "no need for PCR tests," "want to work," "need freedom" and "need to travel too." Drivers passing by honked their horns in support. Many people held up blank sheets of paper as a kind of protest sign.

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