Two and a half months have passed since the bloody massacre in Dongzhou village, Shanwei City, Guangdong Province, when government forces fired on villagers who were protesting the expropriation of their land. Since the massacre, the government has set up a tight blockade of the village. They continuously tap telephones, search and arrest villagers.
For more than seventy days, Dongzhou villagers were afraid to visit other villagers or answer telephone interviews. On January 24, all patients at the hospitals were forced to go home to their villages. After the Chinese New Year, the suppression by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) escalated. Villagers were once again arrested, tortured, and interrogated. They can no longer tolerate the maltreatment.
Orphans Beg in the Streets
On the morning of Feb. 18, at 8 a.m., victims of the Shanwei incident and family members of those missing and arrested escorted a dozen orphaned children, who have no income to survive on, to Dongzhou Second Village, where they started begging in the street. Relatives of missing villagers cried openly for justice, and a crowd gathered. Villagers expressed concern that the CCP's unscrupulous humiliation of innocent people would spark a rebellion.
The ages of the children who were begging ranged from 3 to 12 years old. Some of them had lost their fathers who were beaten to death, leaving behind a widowed mother and child with no means of supporting themselves. Some belonged to parents who were wanted for being “instigators” of the Dec. 6 incident and were forced to flee from home, and others had parents who were badly injured and unable to work.
The tragic scene of children begging on their knees and cries from the victims finally ignited the resentment in the hearts of the Dongzhou villagers who for nearly eighty days had tolerated grave injustices. More and more villagers gathered together, and many donated money to the orphans. An elderly man angrily reprimanded the government officials who had rushed to the scene. He said, “I am 77 years old this year. Arrest me and beat me if you will. The Communist Party is used to lying! This is ridiculous!”
People from other villages were saying that it seemed as if the village representatives had returned. According to the villagers, the three village representatives who were arrested were highly regarded. When they were around, the local village official and police were afraid of them and would not dare to interfere with the villagers. However since their arrest during the December 6 incident, under government orders, the local bullies wantonly arrested and beat the villagers, forcefully entering their houses and making searches as they pleased.
The villagers had been too afraid to voice their anger. But today it seemed as if the village representatives were back. Everyone shouted and cried out all the grievances that had been suppressed.
The crowds slowly dispersed around 3 p.m. after villagers urged the children to return home. However, the residents predicted that the children who had lost the means to a livelihood, would soon be back to beg for a living as the government would not resolve their problems.
On Jan 24, authorities evacuated eight injured hospitalized villagers, including Chen Tianjin, Tang Dahan, and Liu Muzong, with the excuse that they must go home to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Some of them saw the real intention of the government and refused to leave the hospital. However, they were under intense pressure to leave. They finally gave in and returned to the village. There is no one to provide care for them. There is no doctor or medicine to treat their injuries.
A few days ago, several injured villagers who had difficulty supporting themselves went to the government office to ask for subsistence. As usual, the officials ignored their pleas and reprimanded them severely. Several family members of those detained by the authorities requested to visit them to give them something for the New Year, but their requests were also denied.
The whereabouts of the missing villagers remain unknown. Many locals speculate that the missing were probably massacred and that their bodies were cremated during the December 6 incident. The authorities tried to cover up the actual death toll and claimed that the missing were in detention in order to deceive family members and avoid public scrutiny.
The Dongzhou villagers had a quiet Chinese New Year. Villagers on the run were afraid to return, and once the New Year festivities were over, the authorities started to arrest villagers and repeatedly tried to force them to reveal where explosives were hidden. When the villagers told them they did not know, the police beat and kicked them. All of those detained suffered varying degrees of torture.
Yet the official media reported that everything was peaceful. According to the villagers, since the December 6 incident, the government has continuously broadcast propaganda on the Shanwei TV station, claiming that authorities had sent task forces into Dongzhou village many times to help resolve the situation for the poor, that it had taken out social insurance for the villagers, and that the situation in Dongzhou village had returned to normal.
The reality of the situation is just the opposite of the news reports, however. Villagers say that the government lies openly, that they have no recourse to justice, that their livelihoods have been destroyed, and that they live in fear and under pressure every day. Sooner or later, they say, the villagers will rebel. Related articles:
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