The Shanwei Massacre of December 6, 2005.

Essay by Keir December 2005

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This past week has seen yet another massacre in China -- this time not by the People's Liquidation Army but by the state police, opening fire with live ammo, into a crowd of civilians, Ã la Tiananmen Square. This time, the crowd was simply made up of helpless villagers -- farmers and fishermen of Shanwei, seeking compensation and justice for land that was illegally taken away from them to build a new power plant, generated by COAL. Get my Geography students to tell you what kind of pollution that would cause, and how many new cases of leukemia have been caused by land stolen from villagers are given to industries that pour all manner of chemicals and poisons ion the limited water supply of China. This has been brewing since May 2005. Dongzhou has a population near 30,000 and during the action last week, protests swelled from '100 or 200 people' to a number near 10,000 (33% of the town).

Riot police were first sent in on Monday, Dec. 5, to put down the unrest on the part of the first 100 - 200 protestors. Then matters escalated on Tuesday when authorities detained three organisers, and this prompted thousands more villagers to respond; perhaps as many as 10,000 according to a Radio Free Asia report. At 17:00 on that day, 2,000 - 3,000 paramilitary and riot police arrived to attack the village as has been the case time after time after time over the last number of years. Additional equipment used in the operation included machineguns, and one or more tanks. The main massacre occurred in front of the power plant, occupying the original land that was seized. Reports on the number who were killed have varied, from a low of three (guess what, that's what the government's claims, but...