Public anger over corruption in the ruling Chinese Communist Party has been at an all-time high, sparking street demonstrations and riots across China. The first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year was no different: more than a thousand people protested in southwestern China after a drunk BMW driver beat up a bus driver.
The demonstration took place on Sunday in Chongqing, a massive city in Sichuan Province that has been at the heart of some of the highest profile corruption cases China in recent years.
The demonstrators demanded social justice and called for an end to Party officials’ corruption and abuse of power over the incident involving the drunk BMW driver.
Traffic police let the BMW driver go after they learned that his family had connections to local law enforcement, which triggered the demonstration Sunday against the officers.
Ms. Wang, a resident in Yubei District in Chongqing, told The Epoch Times that she witnessed the conflict between the BMW driver and the bus driver.
“The BMW driver shouted to the police that his uncle was a captain of a local traffic squad, and then phoned his uncle. Soon, the police received a phone call from their superior and let the guy leave right away,” she said.
She said the crowd demanded that the traffic police involved in the incident should apologize to the bus driver, while the bus driver’s family, who were also on hand during the protest, also asked for justice. Police were dispatched in an attempt to disperse the crowd.
A student attempted to photograph Sunday’s incident with her mobile phone, but police violently snatched her phone and beat her, said Ms. Wang. A reporter who tried to interview witnesses was also assaulted by police.
Hundreds of demonstrators also swarmed police cars to prevent the officers from leaving, ultimately prompting the police to back down.
Another witness told The Epoch Times that the police asked to leave after the thousand-strong demonstrators surrounded them.
“The police at first threatened to send all of them to prison … but finally ended up begging the crowd to let them leave,” the witness said, adding that some of the police officers knelt down before the crowd.
Officials said the incident involving the BMW driver and the bus driver is currently under investigation. They said the local government would later provide locals with an explanation.
The crowd dispersed early in the morning on Monday.
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