Activists have posted images of ink splashed across pictures of Chinese president Xi Jinping after a woman who pulled a similar stunt in Shanghai disappeared from Twitter soon afterwards.

A Twitter user by the handle @feefeefly shared a livestream of herself splashing ink a Xi billboard and declaring that she opposed his “tyranny” last Wednesday. That afternoon, she posted photos of what appeared to be police officers outside her door before her account was deleted, sparking fears that she had been detained.

Twitter users identified her as Dong Yaoqiong, believed to be from Zhuzhou, Hunan.

xi jinping ink protest

Some on Twitter then called for people to hold copycat protests to support her – with a few even deeming it an “ink-splashing movement.”

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“Use action to support Dong Yaoqiong, splash ink on Xi Jinping!” one user wrote.

A photo of ink splashed across an entrance of the Beijing High People’s Court was also circulated on Twitter, though HKFP was unable to verify it.

US-backed Radio Free Asia reported that a Guangdong citizen named Wang Wenbin was arrested last Friday, seemingly under suspicion of throwing mud at a Xi Jinping billboard. A photo of a detention notice for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” was uploaded on Twitter, but does not give other details. The charge is often used against dissenter.

A friend of Wang’s verified that he was under criminal detention to RFA. The unnamed friend said: “You can see from Wang Wenbin’s case that China does not even have basic freedom of speech. China seems to have gone back to the cultural revolution – mythologising the individual, the cult of personality is definitely a regression.”

“I’m sure many others will follow her in doing these kinds of ink-splashing acts, and even create a big movement,” he added.

HKFP was unable to reach Wang’s family for comment through a number posted by Twitter users.

xi jinping ink protest
It is unclear whether this photo is related to Wang’s case. Photo: Twitter via RFA.

Meanwhile, others posted photos of similar protests. Activist Zhu Wanli posted a photo of two activists defacing Xi’s portrait in front of China’s Consulate General in Auckland on Friday.

Another posted a video on Wednesday of a man confronting a group of protesters in New York. Their sign read: “New York Chinese in support of ink splashing girl Dong Yaoqiong.”

RFA also reported on a group of activists who held a protest with spray paint in front of the Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco.

US-based political cartoonist Wang Liming – better known as Rebel Pepper – posted photos that he said were sent to him by online contacts.

One showed ink dripping down a propaganda billboard advertising socialist values in Guangdong, another showing a defaced Xi Jinping poster, and two other photos where the protester used a white liquid.

Li drew a cartoon of Xi’s portrait grimacing as people throw various objects at it for US-backed Radio Free Asia. He posted the cartoon on Twitter, saying: “‘ink-splashing girl’ said the CPC was controlling her brain, but I don’t think she is under brain control, she’s probably just thinking too much. But over one billion people aren’t even aware, actually you have been under the CPC’s ‘brain control’ for several decades.”

Catherine is a Canadian journalist and photographer who lived in Beijing for almost two years, working in TV and online media. Aside from Hong Kong and mainland affairs, she is also interested in urban spaces, art and feminism. She holds a BA in Literature and Art History from the University of British Columbia.