The Communist Party was beset by mass protests and intense confrontations on a large scale in 2010. The following are The Epoch Times’ choices for the top ten most significant mass protests of 2010.
1. Mass Protest in Suzhou City Turns into Protracted War
Over one thousand farmers from Tong’an Township of Gaoxin District, Suzhou City in Jiangsu Province appealed to the township government on July 14 and 15 because of forced land acquisitions and relocations. Angered by the officials’ response, they took over and ransacked the Tong’an Township government building. The officials fled, leaving the government paralyzed. Thousands of villagers were locked in a standoff with a large number of special forces police, riot police, and public security officers, every night for two weeks. In the end, the Huqiu Public Security Bureau of Suzhou City classified it as a political incident manipulated by “foreign forces” and escalated the fight until regaining control.
2. Thousands of Angry Farmers in Jiangxi Province Smash a Government Building
In the afternoon of July 5, the local government of Gangkou Township, Xiushui County in Jiujiang City of Jiangxi Province dispatched police cars and over 100 police officers to stop villagers of Dongxia Village from going to Beijing to protest against forced relocations. Bus drivers received threats warning them not to board the villagers, which forced over 100 villagers to take a detour and walk 50 kilometers (31 miles) through Hubei Province to Beijing. Local police sent 30 police vehicles to intercept the villagers and return them to the township hall. The villagers demanded negotiations with the county mayor, but were dispersed by police. Two female villagers were beaten unconscious and over twenty were injured. Thousands of angered citizens smashed the windows of the township government building and 18 police cars were damaged by stones and bricks. Frightened, officials fled.
3. Sichuan Protesters Smash a Police Station and Beat the Chief
On Aug. 3 in Lianjie Township of Weiyuan County in Neijiang City of Sichuan Province, a couple were violently beaten and seriously injured by local urban management officers (chengguan) and police over a motorcycle parking issue. A crowd spontaneously gathered in front of the police station and demanded that the urban management officers who beat the couple be handed over. Local authorities dispatched over one thousand riot police to suppress the crowd, which brought over 10,000 people to the station to engage in intense fights with police overnight. Over 30 police were injured, including the deputy chief. It was not until 7 a.m. the next morning, when the police arrested dozens of people, that the episode finished.
4. Protesters in Shandong Seize 22 Government Vehicles
On June 21, the local government of Weizi Township in Changyi City (under the administration of Weifang City) of Shandong Province sent a demolition convoy consisting of over 60 vehicles to Taobu village to carry out a forced demolition. Villagers notified each other with homemade signal flares and all came out to defend their homes. The demolition team was intimidated by the large number of villagers and retreated right away. But Villager Song Wei did not escape in time. He was hit by a car and knocked out, his legs and arms broken and face bloodied. The driver attempted to escape, but angry villagers smashed the vehicle and beat the driver. In the end, the villagers drove those who were sent by the local government out of the village and seized 22 government vehicles. They deflated all the tires and demanded Party officials explain what they thought they were doing.
5. Kunming Urban Management Officers Beat an Elderly Lady Vendor, Angry Crowd Burns Police Vehicles
In the evening of March 26, an elderly female street vendor at the Beicang Village farmers’ market in Beishi District of Kunming City in Yunnan Province was caught by urban management officers (chengguan) and fined 200 yuan (US$30.19). She knelt down to beg for mercy as she only had 150 yuan, but the officers overturned her cart, injuring her. Angered by the officers’ conduct, vendors and bystanders quickly gathered around and trapped the officers inside a minivan to stop them from fleeing. The angry crowd overturned seven police cars and burned two of them. The clash lasted until the early hours of the morning.
6. Protestors in Yunnan Smeared by Authorities
On Nov. 2, about 200 villagers of the Phoenix community of Zhaoyang District in Yunnan Province gathered at a construction site to protest against the Zhaotong City mayor who took their land away in the name of state land acquisition; he had colluded with developers and was personally profiting from the venture. Zhaotong authorities dispatched more than 20 vehicles, including two ambulances and a firefighting vehicle to the site. In the afternoon, around 1,000 urban management officers and what were apparently hired thugs came with long knives and rakes and beat any villagers they found. A male villager in his 30s and a female in her 40s were beaten to death, and dozens were injured. Angry villagers overturned an official’s car and burned others. Afterwards, official media concealed the fact that villagers were killed and criticized the protesters.
7. Protest in Ma’anshan Suppressed by Tear Gas
In the evening of June 11, Wang Guoqing, the chief of the Tourism Bureau of Ma’anshan District in Anhui Province, hit a student while driving over the speed limit. After exiting his car, he beat the student, breaking the bone around the eye socket. A crowd gathered and demanded that Wang apologize, but Wang called the police and asked for protection. He then hid inside a police car. Ma’anshan city government sent riot and military police to disperse the crowd; many were injured. By that time Wang was fleeing the scene in a police car. The crowd fought back with stones and water bottles, and police fired out tear gas to disperse them.
8. Mass Protest against Pollution in Guangxi
On July 11, villagers of Pangling Village of Xinjia Township in Guangxi Province staged a large-scale protest at the Xinfa Aluminum Plant in Jingxi County of Baise City over pollution. The plant sent 300 employees to beat the villagers with pipes and wooden sticks, injuring several and pushing two injured elderly villagers into the river. Angry villagers surrounded the plant and attacked it with stones and homemade bombs. Some netizens said that workers died and dozens were injured. Some equipment was destroyed. The Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy reported that authorities dispatched to the area over one thousand military police and special forces police, as well as armored vehicles. The authorities denied that anyone was killed. After the incident, thousands of villagers went to appeal to the county government, but were blocked by military police.
9. Over 1,000 villagers in Guangxi Fight Against Land Acquisition and Overturn Police Cars
In the morning of Oct. 13, farmers of Longyu Township of Cangwu County in Wuzhou City of Guangxi Province blocked construction workers as they had not received proper compensation for their land that forcefully had been taken away; they also demanded that the public security bureau release villagers arrested in a clash the previous day. The township government refused their request, sparking an intense confrontation. Seven police cars and a government vehicle were overturned by angry farmers, and a police officer was beaten bloody. Military police, special forces police and public security officers dispersed the angry crowd twice with tear gas, hitting and injuring some villagers. The police did not withdraw until past 4 p.m.
10. Over 10,000 people Protest Against a Boy’s Death Due to Hospital Malpractice in Jiangsu Province
In the evening of Nov. 28, a 5-year-old boy died while connected to an intravenous drip at the People’s Hospital in Zhangjiagang of Jiangsu Province. This was the second death from intravenous drip within 10 days at the same hospital. The physician on duty was not around at the critical moment. Bereaved family and local people were angered by what they regarded as the hospital staff’s arrogance and indifference. A large crowd spontaneously gathered at the hospital to mourn for the dead boy on the seventh day after his death (a day of significance in Chinese funerary traditions). Authorities dispatched both local regular police, and special forces police from Suzhou and Changzhou, which further angered the thousands of people mourning. Anger turned to rage and rage to violence: The hospital was ravaged and left a mess. Police hats and shields, as well as aluminum poles removed from the hospital door were thrown around as booty. It was Zhangjiagang’s first taste of mass protest against the Communist Party.