Thursday, September 17, 2009
Don't Help Strangers, They Could be Shanghai Cops
For a moment, imagine you were driving to work on any busy morning commute. It was 7:45 and the red light just won't let it go. You may sign, you may swear, but suddenly a couple in shabby clothing opened your back doors and sat on your car. Before you recovered from the shock, they would tell you that the woman was suffering a severe stomach pain, and that they had been unable to hire a taxi for twenty minutes. They asked you to take them to the nearest hospital. They would beg you, and praise your ancestors for your kindness, but they wouldn't leave your car until you said okay.
Many drivers showed their kindness, but was arrested and beaten by the police at the 'hospital' entrance. They police would charge you for illegal operating taxi business. They would give you a 10,000 RMB ($1,600) fine or throw you in jail.
The mass 'sting' operation happened in Shanghai, where the police pockets millions of fines in the first day. It didn't last too long, because almost all drivers were alerted by their relatives and friends who had fell victims. Tens of thousands of Shanghai drivers had mobilized on the Internet to retaliate the brute violation of civil rights.
226 Days later, Shanghai is going to host the World Fair. Since the Shanghai government endorsed the police's operation, private car owners of Shanghai are launching a campaign to appeal the case to the attendees of the World Fair by sticking a bumper sticker which reads 'Don't Help Strangers, They Could be Cops'.