On the morning on Jan. 8 nearly two thousand veterans attempted to force their way into the Shaanxi Province government building. They demanded to see Governor Yuan Chunqing, seeking to resolve their problems with medical care and housing.
The authorities mobilized armed police and public security forces to stop them. Many people were injured, and a 67-year-old veteran died, according to an official report.
During the stand-off, many fell injured. The authorities sent in an ambulance to take them to a hospital. The entrance of the government building was only half open, allowing exit only. The majority of the protestors did not get into the building.
A person named Liu witnessed the scene, “When I got there, some of the veterans were already inside the building. More and more armed police and public security came and blocked the entrance to the building. Soon I heard the veterans outside yelling ‘Police brutality! Someone’s beaten to death!’ Then an ambulance came.”
According to the state-run Shaanxi news media, cnwest.com, many veterans from cities of Xian, Xianyang and Weinan, who are retired from the jobs they took after their military service, went to the provincial government to protest.
These veterans hung dozens of banners outside of the government building. According to Liu, “There were about 2000 people. They shouted their slogans very loudly.”
A man who answered the phone at the Appeal Office of the provincial government said he did not know much about the incident. He asked the reporter to call the Department of Propaganda.
These veterans entered the military in the 1950s and 1960s. Most of them were over 60 years old. There are about 40 to 50 thousand veterans in Shaanxi who are currently working.
Some of these veterans who worked for private companies after they retired from the military lost their jobs because of the economic downturn. They are receiving less than 200 dollars a month from the military retirement fund. Most of them have problems with adequate housing or medical care.
Read the original Chinese article.