December 4, 2005


Chinese Peasants Turn Their Rage On Authorities: Villagers in a Southern Province Ransack A Government Building, Batter an Official In Anger Over Deaths in Police Operation (Edward Cody, 12/04/05, Washington Post)

[T]he villagers of Shangdeng said they were convinced the two men were killed deliberately by members of the anti-smuggling squad who were carrying iron bars. Outraged by the news, relatives, friends and fellow smugglers gathered shortly after dawn in front of Yantang city hall, demanding an explanation from municipal authorities with jurisdiction over local villages.

The white-tiled building was padlocked tight and nobody came out to face the crowd, recalled Deng Suilong, 54, Deng Silong's older brother. The number of protesters swelled quickly to several hundred, he said, which meant that most of the men from among Shangdeng's 1,000 residents were on hand and angry. "They were all yelling and screaming," said one of the men present, who declined to provide his name for fear of prosecution.

Their rage growing, the peasants broke down the door to city hall and burst inside, witnesses said. They rushed up to the main offices on the second floor, and some of them began sacking everything in sight. The building's blue-tinted windows were shattered on several of the five stories, the witnesses said, and tables, chairs and desks were broken into pieces.

When the Yantang Communist Party secretary, Liu Tangxiong, showed up with several other officials to try and calm the mob, a local official said, the peasants knocked his front teeth out and continued their rampage unhindered until it was time to go home for a late breakfast.

The violence in Yantang, although small in scale, was part of what officials say is a growing trend of assaults against police, officials and government property in China.

Totalitarians don't get to take just a little bit of responsibility for a few problems.

Thousands march for HK democracy (BBC, 12/04/05)

Trade unions, activists and civic groups joined ordinary citizens, some carrying banners denouncing China.

They snaked round streets lined with sky-scrapers towards government offices chanting "now or never" and "do you want a clown or a chief executive?".

Campaigners say they want the Chinese autonomous territory's next leader to be elected by universal suffrage.

In response to mass protests in 2003 and 2004, Beijing made some concessions... [...]

The BBC's Chris Hogg in Hong Kong said the march appeared to be much larger than many had predicted, with many ordinary citizens and their families taking part.

"I just feel there are moments in one's life when you have to stand up and be counted," said Anson Chan, Hong Kong's former deputy leader and a first-time marcher.

Palu Cheung, 42, who brought his four-year-old daughter, said: "I want my daughter to know that I do this for her and for myself," he told Associated Press. "I think we have the quality to select our own government."

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 4, 2005 9:30 AM
Comments for this post are closed.