Anti-Benders, Equalists, another piece in the puzzle
Once more it is strongly implied that the anti-bender/ Equalist movement parallels the communist revolution.
The activist we see is a grad student. Communism, in most countries that it took a hold, started out at the universities.
If we are staying within the sino-centric universe that atla is set in: Mao Zedong himself was a grad student at Beijing University, where was introduced to the teachings of Chen DuXin, co-founder of the Chinese communist party. Mao came from a poor, very traditional family.
I am not sure if that protester is supposed to parallel Mao Zedong, but the description in the game does fit Mao’s life-story, down to him - presumably- being a student of Amon, the founder of the movement.
The streets being laid out on a grid is not just the animators being lazy, or Republic City being a new and planned city. Chinese cities have been laid out on grids for several thousand years.
Ancient Chinese urban planningis the application of the traditional principles of Chinese architecture to urban design. These traditions can be summarized as: fengshui geomancy and astronomy; the well-field system; gaitian cosmology; qi as a medium of energy connecting man, earth, and heaven; political power shared between a military aristocracy and educated advisers; the holy place bo; a three-tiered economic system under absolute state control; early writing; and the walled yet portable capital city as a diagram of political power.
Air Temple Architecture
Dougong斗拱 literally “cap [and] block”) is a unique structural element of interlocking wooden brackets, one of the most important elements in traditional Chinese architecture.