The Central Government listened to demands from the Southern Weekend editors and reporters, and ruled against them.
Further more, the protests over Mr. Tuo Zhen, the provincial Censor Czar in Guangdong, was labelled as insubordinate. 'Overseas enemy forces' was cited as the black hand behind the social turmoil. This is very close to calling it a treasonous act.
In a sense, the timing and the trigger of the rebellion are puzzling. Censorship is no secret in China. People on left and right see the censorship critical to the survival of the regime. You won't believe a regime can last forever on lies, but you know it faces immanent collapse without telling lies. Anyone really expect the CCP to give up on censorship and sign its own death warrant?
Before pro-democracy intellectuals went all in on this otherwise routinary offense to civil liberty, how did they anticipate it to unfold? It seems there is no counter measure at all after the central government made the decision, and the paper was left high and dry. Pig Bay?