Between 2,000 and 10,000 people protested and attacked a Communist Party office in Gansu province of Northwest China early Tuesday. 60 people were reported to have been hurt in the protests.
The numbers of protestors varied in reports —state-run media reported 2,000 protestors, and various online blogs reported that close to 10,000 people had been protesting.
The riots are believed to have occurred due to the regime’s decision to move its offices at the city of Longnan to another city. One blog reported that the move had resulted in the termination of housing construction for thousands of families who had been affected in the Sichuan earthquake. The May earthquake killed 275 people in Longnan and destroyed many houses.
State-run media reported that 30 residents had gathered on Monday to protest the reallocation of the office, but that the number had quickly grown.
The violence is only the latest of numerous angry protests that have broken out against the ruling Chinese Communist Party.
In recent weeks, numerous protests by disgruntled taxi drivers have broken out across the country, especially in Chongqing. The taxi driver protests were prompted by what many believe to be collusion between the regime and fleet owners to let taxi drivers bear the brunt of the fallout from low fares and rising costs.
In June, 30,000 people rioted outside the Party office in Guizhou province, setting fire to government vehicles after a local girl’s death. The death of the 15-year-old girl, who had been raped and murdered, was widely rumored to have been covered up by police and government officials.
The Chinese Communist Party has often used a growing economy to offset questions about its human rights records and its iron-fisted rule, but the recent economic downturn is now testing the limits of how far free expression can go under the Communist regime.