Seventeen Shanghai appellants were arrested at Zhongnanhai in Beijing's Tiananmen Square protesting against being relocated and dispossessed of their land.
This happened on the National Day, October 1, which marks the beginning of a long holiday period.
In spite of large numbers of tourists gathering in Tiananmen Square that morning, the petitioners were arrested just as they got close to Zhongnanhai, the Chinese Communist Party's central headquarters.
Several police in everyday clothes followed the appellants before shuffling them into waiting cars, driving off quickly to avoid attracting attention.
A witness told an Epoch Times reporter they would probably be taken to Majialou Appellant Escort Center to make a written statement and that evening be repatriated by Shanghai’s Regional Office in Beijing.
Most of the petitioners had made appeals at Zhongnanhai many times, but were never able to get past government officials to get their complaints heard at higher levels.
Each time, they were detained, placed under house arrest, or beaten up afterwards at home.
Since the Olympics, Wang Shengfang has been repatriated back to Shanghai four times in the last two months.
Wang said she would continue to protest as she had nothing to lose, so she had nothing to fear. She is only concerned for her teenaged child's support and education.
Yao Yuping and Shen Peilan were monitored, placed under house arrest, and their houses watched by Shanghai authorities.
Ji Laiying’s husband told the reporter, “Please help us, we have no way out. When we appeal to Beijing at Zhongnanhai, we're stopped before we can see any higher ranking officials. We do not trust the Shanghai authorities at all; we have come to the Shanghai Petitions and Appeals Office numerous times. Many have been placed under house arrest and monitored during the Olympics.”
Recently, in a first ever move by residents, Shanghai appellants officially submitted a requisition to hold a parade demanding Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng to step down. They proposed to hold the parade on Friday morning, October 10.
In September of last year, Shanghai appellants jointly issued an open letter to regime leader Hu Jingtao at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).
The letter requested that the central government thoroughly investigate local power authorities, including former Shanghai Party Chief Chen Liangyu, Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng, Chairman of Shanghai People’s Congress Liu Yungeng, and Director of Shanghai Public Security Bureau Wu Zhiming.
The appellants are holding the politicians responsible for the relocation of 2.8 million residents from the central district to the suburbs, the erection of more than 8,000 high rises and the commandeering of more than one million of the suburb’s farmland and dismantling of houses.