Despite hundreds of you reading no one commented. I wrote that I was surprised it made it in at all with a couple of reservations - and then scene veteran Brad Ferguson came in with the smack down to bring us back down to earth.
He points out the hypocrisy of the claims; Yuyintang dangerous and overcrowded, while the Expo is exactly that at only half capacity. Test days almost led to riots
. He also points out the basic falsehood; Yuyintang had 50 people inside when they closed it, and they even quote 100 as the limit in the same article.
Read the article here
and now here's Brad's comments:
I know I shouldn't expect actual journalism from that propaganda rag, but that article is terrible. At least they use softer paper than China Daily...and the print doesn't smudge my ass cheeks.
"But now it's more difficult; officials are much stricter about artists, foreign especially, having the proper visas, and all the venues must have the required licenses, too."
Implication: China used to be the Wild West, but now there's Rule of Law.
"Yuyintang was temporarily closed by authorities in 2007 for failing to have the permit needed for a show by the Beijing-based band Brain Failure."
Implication: This raid was superficially similar to the shutdown of the previous incarnation (Longcao Lu) of Yuyintang three years ago, so they are likely at fault this time, too.
Does Yuyintang currently have the "required licenses" and "proper permits"? I guess the "relevant department" couldn't be reached for comment.
"officials told the roughly 50 patrons that they were pulling the plug on the music due to capacity issues."
"They told me that the bar could not hold more than 100 people during the Expo because it's too small."
There were roughly 50 patrons, which is about half the 100 people the officials say the place can hold. Did the reporter think to ask why, if both statements are true, did the they actually shut the place down?
"They just said they were concerned that the venue would become overcrowded and unsafe."
That doesn't sound like a very good reason.
Putting aside the irony that on the same day, the Expo grounds were overcrowded and chaotic, and that the subways are dangerously overcrowded every morning and evening, and that every tourist attraction in Shanghai is overcrowded...the commerce officials didn't say, "Don't let any more people in," or "Ten people have to leave for this place to be safe." They went in, demanded identification from patrons of the bar, and confiscated equipment essential to the operation of the bar.
If Yuyintang didn't have the correct permits, why weren't they cited?
If the place was overcrowded, why did the officials confiscate equipment?
Do officials from the Shanghai Administration of Industry and Commerce have the authority to demand identification?
Do officials from the Shanghai Administration of Industry and Commerce have the authority to confiscate private property?
I'm not a scholar of Chinese law (if there is such a thing), and I don't know all the facts of this case (how could I, given such shoddy reporting?) but it seems that the Shanghai Administration of Industry and Commerce acted illegally. If the government is now requiring businesses to obtain proper permits and licenses and adhere to the law, then at the very least, the government branch in charge of enforcing those laws should be held to the same standard.