Villagers in the town of Dongzhou, near Hong Kong in the industrial southeast of China, were protesting the construction of a
The times reports that there have been 74,000 riots in rural areast this year, generallay around environmental issues.
Like the Dongzhou incident itself, most of the thousands of riots and public disturbances recorded in China this year have involved environmental, property rights and land use issues. Among other problems, in trying to come to grips with the growing rural unrest, the Chinese government is wrestling with a yawning gap in incomes between farmers and urban dwellers, and rampant corruption in local government, where unaccountable officials deal away communal property rights, often for their own profit.
Finally, mobile telephone technology has made it easier for people in rural China to organize, communicating news to one another by short messages, and increasingly allowing them to stay in touch with members of non-governmental organizations in big cities who are eager to advise them or provide legal help.
Other fun Chinese environmental news include 100 tons of benzene spilled into the Songhua river and a mine explosion that left 134 dead.
Update: It wasn't a coal plant, it was a wind farm, which makes the whole thing more interesting. Villagers are protesting all development projects where their land is siezed and livelihood disrupted (understandably). I will have to blog more about the relationship between democracy and environmentalism soon.