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Sat Dec 17, 2011, 06:43 AM Dec 2011
Wukan Revolt Begins Like Others, but Its End Is Less Certain [View all]
Relatives carried a picture of Xue Jinbo, who died in police custody after villagers chose him to negotiate a solution to a land deal in Wukan, China. Agence France-Presse - Getty Images
Villagers tied white ribbons on their arms before heading to a makeshift funeral alter to pay their respects to Mr. Xue. Agence France-Presse - Getty Images
By MICHAEL WINES
Published: December 16, 2011
WUKAN, China Each day begins with a morning rally in the banner-bedecked square, where village leaders address a packed crowd about their seizure of the village and plans for its future. Fridays session was followed by a daylong mock funeral for a fallen comrade, whose body lies somewhere outside the village in government custody.
It has been nearly a week since the 13,000 residents of this seacoast village, a warren of cramped alleys and courtyard homes, became so angry that their deeply resented officials and even the police fled rather than face them. Now, there is a striking vacuum of authority, and the villagers are not entirely sure what to make of their fleeting freedom.
We will defend our farmland to the death! a handmade banner proclaims, referring to a possible land deal they fear will strip them of almost all their farmland. Is it a crime, another muses, to ask for the return of our land and for democracy and transparency?
How long they will last is another matter. As the days pass, the cordons of police officers surrounding the village grow larger. Armored trucks and troop carriers have been reported nearby. On local television, a 24-hour channel denounces the villagers as a handful of people dedicated to sabotaging public order, with the names of protesters flashing on a blue screen, warning that they will be prosecuted. Many here fear this will all end badly. The SWAT teams and the police here are acting like theyre crime organizations, not police forces, said Chen Dequan, a 50-year-old farmer and fisherman. The entire village is worried.
Shi Da contributed research from Wukan, and Mia Li from Beijing. Sharon LaFraniere and Jonathan Ansfield contributed reporting from Beijing.
Wukan is on the southern coast of the PRC...it seems they're going to need that 15% increase in domestic security spending. One day, the PRC will come crashing down.
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Wukan Revolt Begins Like Others, but Its End Is Less Certain [View all] ellisonz Dec 2011 OP
Kick. ellisonz Dec 2011 #1
All the others have ended tragically Yo_Mama Dec 2011 #2
They're still there as of yesterday. ellisonz Dec 2011 #3