‘Spartans’ descend on Beijing’s streets; dozens arrested for disturbing order

(From China Daily)

Dozens of muscular male foreigners dressed as Spartans were detained by Beijing police Wednesday, accused of disturbing public order in Sanlitun, one of Beijing’s hot hubs for entertainment.

A group of male foreigners dressed as Spartans promote a new restaurant product in Beijing on July 22

A group of male foreigners dressed as Spartans promote a new restaurant product in Beijing on July 22

According to the official Sina Weibo account of Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, police rushed to the scene immediately after residents reported a group of scantily dressed foreign men attracting public attention in Sanlitun of Beijing’s Chaoyang district.

Photos posted online showed a group of foreigners wearing Spartan-like jock straps and capes marching through the streets while holding small boxes of food in their hands. Lined up in a pyramid-like formation at times, they traveled around central Beijing to promote a new restaurant product in Guomao subway station, overhead bridges in Sanlitun and Jianwai SOHO in Beijng’s CBD.

Passersby scrambled to take photos of the scantily dressed men when they first appeared on the street, and the volume of onlookers was deemed disturbing by authorities. Beijing police issued warnings and ordered them to stop, and those who failed to cooperate after several warnings were eventually escorted away.

Photos of the scantily dressed fighters spread quickly on China’s social media, and responses from Internet users were mixed.

Sina Weibo user christina2010824 thought the foreigners “were not promoting anything, they were just showing their bodies and disturbing order. The police did the right thing.”

User Wokannideidian said: “This has nothing to do with feudalism. It’s all because the activity disturbed public order. If you cos played in or in front of a store peacefully, no one would do anything to you. There was a bunch of them on the street and attracting a large volume of onlookers, what if it causes another stampede?”

User Shaoxuan1030 said: “In a country governed by law, all are treated equal, citizens or foreigners alike.”

Others disagreed.

In user Taline’s view, “the police have overdone it.” User Moyouyin thought the Spartans’ move was alright, “as they were just promoting their products.”

The authority’s move seemed unncessary to user Tom. “I guess that there was nothing else worthy of law-enforcements’ effort going on at the time.”

In China, those who want to parade for any purposes must obtain a permit from the authorities beforehand.


Categories: Asia Times News & Features

Tags: ,

  • Johannes de Silentio

    The Chinese have to be the biggest screwups in the known universe. If this were any NORMAL country, the police would have smiled and let it go. But China isn’t normal. Unless stupid is the new normal…

  • ifigeniaa

    “Beijing police issued warnings and ordered them to stop, and those who failed to cooperate after several warnings were eventually escorted away.”

    “Fergurson police issued warnings and ordered them to stop, and those who failed to cooperate after several warnings were eventually shot.”

  • Jon Edward Jordan

    None of the photographs show men in jock straps. Those are hotpants. It’s really not the same thing. Perhaps no one photographed said jock straps. Or perhaps the editors don’t know the difference.

  • jeff wong

    The police received complaints from other shop owners and pedestrians. These guys didn’t have a permit to do what they were doing. The police ordered them to stop or get arrested. A few of them chose the latter. I don’t see a problem with that. China’s cops did the right thing, they upheld their laws. Good job.
    Russell Brand was filming outside of NBC’s headquarters earlier this year, the NYPD arrested him! He wasn’t even doing anything provocative.
    Feminist groups often strip naked and shout in European capitals, usually in busy locations. EU cops evict and arrest these women as well.

  • jeff wong

    Respect and follow the law. If the cops tell you to do something, you follow their orders. That’s often what many American people will say about blacks who get themselves killed. “It’s because they are not following orders”.
    Well, these guys weren’t following orders of the Chinese police officers. So they get arrested.
    I don’t know how anyone can spin it differently.

  • Johannes de Silentio

    Keep drinking that Kool-Aid, Jeff…

  • Born_In_Borneo

    Evens such as this reveal a gap in the learning curve of many Chinese people in China.

    The company that organized the promotion, Sweetie Salad, apparently foo-fooed the idea that a permit is required in order to use public space (AKA people’s space) for an event. Similarly, many Chinese still feel like “why, me lining up?” The stampede in Shanghai last year did not bother the company. Later, the company did issue an online statement to apologize for disturbing public order and blocking traffic. And here is the part that makes me shake my head: “We have learned how inexperienced we are as a start-up company when it comes to organizing offline activities.” Many outside China already know that. But it is good that Sweetie Salad acknowledged it.

    Many Sweetie Salad customers were genuinely upset that the salad was not delivered by a scantily-clad “Spartan”. Really? Like, they truely felt that they were cheated?

    “In a country governed by law, all are treated equal, citizens or foreigners alike.” Now, this statement could be viewed differently, if the person making it is a foreigner. But very bizzare if it is a Chinese. And even more so if he/she is highly educated and an urbanite. A foreigner needs a special permit to drive in a foreign country and will face additional penalty for having the incorrect permit. Health care usually don’t cover foreigners as extensively as the locals, if at all, because the locals, such as the person who made the above statement, will be very upset that they are paying taxes to help the foreigners. There are repatriation, diplomatic immunity, special permits for certain foreigners, foreigners cannot vote, etc.

    Other parts of the world have already gone through what China is now going through. It is not always possible for China to learn the experiences of others vicariously. So, let’s hope that the Chinese people will wise up quick.

  • ifigeniaa

    But wouldnt it better to look who was financing those feminists? Soros and company?

  • ifigeniaa

    I just hope the chinese police would not wise up quickly to be trigger happy cops.

  • PestControl_247

    We don’t need these filthy western import. what will be next? doing a delivery naked?

  • vox3non

    Their country, their laws. By the way, who defines NORMAL: you?

    Getting upset and calling them names won’t change a thing. It shows your evangelical zeal to get everyone to behave like you do. Well, we know how things turn out in the middle east, don’t we? And you still want to spread the white man’s burden?

  • jeff wong

    Nice rebuttle Johan…Couldn’t come up with something more constructive?

  • jeff wong

    Whether or not those people are financed isn’t in question here. That is another conversation.
    If people disobey law enforcers, then they run the risk of being arrested or be taken down.

    If you disagree with the laws of that country, then you are free to leave. This is a very common statement you would hear from many Americans. I agree with them.

  • jeff wong

    As many Americans will say…
    If you do not agree with the laws of a country, then you are free to leave at any time. If you wish to stay, then be a good citizen or visitor and obey the laws.

  • Johannes de Silentio

    What does the Middle East and the White Man’s Burden have to do with Stupid China, voxie? Oh, I get it. You think I’m a white guy and you think that old, worn-out tag still works. Guess what, lotus boy. The new imperialist is you, with your South China Sea adventure and your colonialist wars on the Tibetans and the Muslims. And now you have a border thing going on with the Burmese because you’ve been stealing their lumber to feed your economy. As things heat up, we can all count on China to keep doing stupid things. Stupid is as stupid does…

  • ifigeniaa

    “What does the Middle East and the White Man’s Burden have to do with Stupid China?”
    Dont thrust USA, because it use or pay some locals, like you, to destroy their countries, by disseminating hatred and wars.And that is what happening in Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, all Middle East countries.

  • vox3non

    As is your assumption that I am from China. Your vitriol suggests that you have an innate bias against China. China is not a saint but there is such a thing as a sovereign nation right to its own laws. Your post on defining China’s laws is no different from moralising powers that seek to dictate how others should live. Hence, my statement of imposing the white man’s burden. In fact, now that you have stated that you are not white, I wonder if it is not worst or more tragic being the cat’s paw. Moreover, your ad hominem attacks and name-calling belies a reactionary nature that dismisses those who hold views dissimilar to your own.

  • Johannes de Silentio

    You’ll always be voxie to me. Keep drinking the Kool-Aid, boy…

  • vox3non

    Indeed, you have nothing to reply with but an insult. Is your choice of calling me boy meant to indicate your length of years and implied wisdom? Thus far, you have trotted out tired clichés and puerile reasoning.
    So I repeat, as a principle of international relations, each nation-state as sovereign has the right to determine its own laws. Otherwise are you prepared to have others meddle in yours?
    Mindset like yours in leaders is the one of the main reason why we have so much conflicts. My way or the highway, eh?