Published: January 08. 2013 4:00AM PST
A man wearing a mask with characters meaning “Silent" holds a banner reading: “Let’s chase our dreams together, go Southern Weekly newspaper" during a protest outside the headquarters of the newspaper in Guangzhou, China.
A dispute over censorship at a Chinese newspaper known for edgy reporting evolved Monday into a political challenge for China’s new leadership as prominent scholars demanded a censor’s dismissal and hundreds of protesters called for democratic reforms.
The scholars and protesters were acting in support of the Southern Weekly in its confrontation with a top censor after the publication was forced to change a New Year’s editorial calling for political reform into a tribute praising the ruling Communist Party.
Protesters, including middle school students and white-collar workers, gathered outside the offices of the newspaper in the southern city of Guangzhou to lay flowers at the gate, hold signs and shout slogans calling for freedom of speech, political reform, constitutional governance and democracy.
Wu Wei / The Associated Press