Back From The Brink

The Shanghai lorry drivers protest has been worn down to an irrelevance after five days by a mix of minor concessions over port fees and determined containment of it from spreading via copycat actions, mostly by the imposition of a news blackout in domestic media though we have heard reports of some drivers being detained by police. Disruption to port traffic turned out to be minimal. As we noted earlier, this was a dispute it was important for the authorities not to lose, and they didn’t. One lingering question, though, is, as the lorry drivers, mostly independent owner-operators, disperse, will the message they carry home be of resigned defeat or of still disgruntled resentment? To snuff out the latter turning into anything and to reinforce the former, any drivers identified by the authorities as organizers can expect to be quietly cracked down on.

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