China is witnessing massive protests against the government’s draconian ‘Zero Covid’ policy. Hundreds of protesters demonstrated in cities across the country against Chinese President Xi Jinping’s strategy, with some of them even calling for his removal.
“Step down, Xi Jinping! Step down, Communist Party!” CNN quoted the demonstrators as yelling during a protest in the financial hub of Shanghai. According to news agency AFP, a deadly fire last week in Urumqi, the capital of northwest China’s Xinjiang region, sparked public anger, with many blaming Covid-19 lockdowns for hampering rescue efforts. Soon, protests erupted in other Chinese cities as well.
According to several reports and videos shared online, students chanted “democracy and the rule of law, freedom of expression” during demonstration at Beijing’s prestigious Tsinghua University.
Now, a photo from the campus demonstration that shows the students waving a banner with a mathematical equation instead of slogans is going viral on the internet. It shows the students holding a sheet with the Friedmann equation. Nathan Law, who is an activist in Hong Kong, shared a picture on his Twitter handle. Sharing the same, he wrote, “Students from the elite school Tsinghua University protested with Friedmann equation. I have no idea what this equation means, but it does not matter. It’s the pronunciation: it’s similar to “free man” (free man)-a spectacular and creative way to express, with intelligence.” Several users were surprised to see such a way of demonstration. Many labelled it as a “extraordinary, historic moment in China.”
Students from the elite school Tsinghua University protested with Friedmann equation. I have no idea what this equation means, but it does not matter.
It’s the pronunciation: it’s similar to “free的man” (free man)—a spectacular and creative way to express, with intelligence. pic.twitter.com/m5zomeTRPF
— Nathan Law 羅冠聰 (@nathanlawkc) November 27, 2022
Eithan Siegel, an astrophysicist told Forbes, “The first Friedmann equation describes how, based on what is in the universe, its expansion rate will change over time. If you want to know where the Universe came from and where it’s headed, all you need to measure is how it is expanding today and what is in it. This equation allows you to predict the rest!”
Nearly three years of widespread testing, quarantines, and sudden lockdowns have had an impact on millions of people. It is to be noted that in China, where any open criticism of the government could result in severe punishments, it is extremely uncommon for people to express their rage at Communist Party leaders in public.