In this timeline, Guangdong-based legal activist Guo Feixiong (郭飞雄) (a.k.a. Yang Maodong [杨茂东]) chronicles the events that led up to the detention and release of several democracy activists who have become known as the "five gentlemen of Guangzhou who held placards."
In late March 2012, a number of democracy activists in Guangzhou protested by holding placards emblazoned with slogans calling for political reform. Some of the slogans included "fairness, justice, freedom, equality, human rights, rule of law, democracy, republicanism", "[China has] no future without general elections", and "Hu Jintao should take the lead in disclosing his assets". In early April 2012, five of the activists -- Ou Ronggui (欧荣贵), Xiao Yong (肖勇), Huang Wenxun (黄文勋), Yang Chong (杨崇), and Luo Shouheng (罗守恒) -- were administratively detained, then criminally detained for “illegal assembly, demonstration, and protest.” All were released on bail in early May 2012 after lawyers and other advocates became involved in the case.