The big Chinese news today is out of Qidong, a city of over a million inhabitants one hour north of Shanghai, which has seen widespread protests against an industrial waste pipeline.
Protests in China aren’t rare, but the scale and violence of this protest make it remarkable. Reuters reports that 1,000 protestors marched on government offices, eventually storming and vandalizing them, as well as turning over at least five cars and one minibus.
The video below gives a good idea of the scale of protest.
According to reports on Weibo, protestors found condoms and expensive liquor in the offices. Pictures posted to Weibo appear to show the local Qidong mayor Sun Jianhua stripped of his shirt. He was reportedly made to wear an opposition t-shirt.
While officially the government has backed down in its plans for the pipeline, the repercussions against the protestors may be tough. There are reports that the internet has been taken down in Qidong, and that hospitals are full of people who have been badly beaten by the police, with reports of some deaths.
Images posted to Weibo appear to show a full on battle between a huge amount of police and a huge amount of protesters.
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