30 September 2023
Fact checkMisleading

Misleading: Group singing of ‘The Internationale’ was performed in 2021 as celebration, not protest

The video was produced last July to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party. It has nothing to do with recent COVID-19 protests in the country.

A video featuring a number of selfie-style online clips from people in China singing “The Internationale” was widely shared in late November.

One Twitter user, who posted the video, claimed that “thousands of people” got together digitally to protest against strict COVID-19 restrictions in the country and said the police cannot do much about it.

The same clip was also tweeted by another user (here). Together, the two posts gained more than 3,000 likes and 900 retweets as of this writing. On YouTube, the video was viewed close to 8,000 times. It was also featured on some websites as well.

According to recent news reports, street demonstrators around China were indeed singing “The Internationale,” a well-known communist movement anthem, along with the national anthem.

However, this particular video has nothing to do with the anti-lockdown protests. It was uploaded last year on the video-sharing platform Bilibili to celebrate the Communist Party’s 100th anniversary.

Using the keywords “Thousands of people sing The Internationale” on the popular video platform, Annie Lab found the original that was posted on July 1, 2021, the day of the CCP’s 100th anniversary.

The celebration video also shows a text that reads, “I would like to dedicate this video to the Party and the working class.”

The video on Bilibili was uploaded “to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the party.”

According to the video description, Bilibili was officially part of the production team, and the platform also uploaded numerous other promotional videos at the time.

The lyrics of “The Internationale” (“L’Internationale” in French) come from a poem written in 1887 after the Commune movement in Paris, France, and the music was composed in 1889, according to the Marxists Internet Archive, to commemorate the bravery and sacrifice of communists in the revolution. It has since been sung during various socialist movements around the world.