Protesters Fighting for Land In Wukan, China
Land-Grabs in Wukan,
In the southern village of Wukan, China villagers are the victim of government theft. The people have been cheated by a corrupt communist system who is taking their land, and selling it in secrecy. The movement has been escalating since September of this year, but on December 9th the death of Xue Jinbo sparked the uprising, and unification, of the Wukan people.
Since taxes on farming were abolished in 2006, the farming industry has become a huge revenue generator for China. The profit gained on farming has become so important that the Chinese government has secretly been making money from land sold illegally. The people who tend and occupy the farmland aren’t compensated, and they are being evicted by the system that claims to “protect them.”
On September 21, 2011, the people of this small, “harmonious” village gathered together in front of government offices in Lufeng. They held signs and shouted slogans like “give us back our farmland” and “let us continue farming.” The scene escalated into destruction of buildings, blockading of roads, and the arrest of 3 people participating on the first day. The next day, over 100 people formed together to retrieve the detained individuals. The next day also brought about the attack on a local police station of 30-40 officials. As you would expect, riot control and heavy forces were unleashed, creating a blasphemous scene of beating and gore on the innocent people of Wukan. The Financial Times says two boys, 9 and 13, were both badly injured and possibly died in the crossfire.
Source: CBS News
The situation only became worse on December 9th, 2011. Xue Jinbo was an innocent inhabitant of Wukan, who on that day was detained by police without warrant. Jinbo was captured by plainclothes (undercover) police and taken away in a minibus without license plates. After this mysterious event, Xue’s daughter was called on the morning of December 11th to visit the body of her critical condition father. Ten of Jinbo’s family members came to visit him, only to discover a body badly beaten and bruised. Police forbid the use of any photographic devices, but the description rings a full message. His body was “covered in bruises and cuts, had two bloody nostrils, two thumbs broken backwards, and a massive bruise on his back.” Xue Jinbo was obviously tortured. The Chinese news agency stated his death was due to cardiac arrest and that he had predispositions for fatal diseases, but the people knew the true story.
Source: The Telegraph
Thankfully the human strength of numbers prevailed, and the Wukan people evicted all communist and government officials from their village, leading to a blockade. The people don’t need these corrupt dealings anymore, they just want their friend back. The villagers are currently demanding the body of Xue Jinbo, as well as supplies cut off by the police blockade. The most important observation to make is the peoples’ reaction against their system. Their situation can be compared to America’s, in that we are soon to outgrow and run out of patience for our dysfunctional system oppressing our incredible potential. Like our Occupy protests, these protesters are being treated like enemies of the government even though they are still the people the authority swears to protect. The change the villagers are coming together to bring about is inevitable and must be allowed to happen by their government. We are seeing a corrupt system oppressing the people, which is slowly happening to Americans everywhere.
Source: Business Week
It is important to keep an eye on this developing story. The people of Wukan desire justice and justice is what they shall have, but only if they work together and sacrifice their time to revealing the shady plot so obviously afoot. Like the people of Wukan however, we as Americans must use their story to learn about our future story. With legislature like the National Defense Authorization act, humans are signing away their rights and succumbing to what will become their end. We are soon to be Wukan’s kin in protest, fighting along side other people a government so bent on profit maximization and corruption. Our struggle will be beautiful and significant, changing our global community into one of strong will and determination. Like the Wukan people, the people power will prevail in the end.
Header source: MSNBC