After persisting with their protest for more than 2 months, the Chongqing Special Steel Mill workers have been suppressed by armed forces, two women were killed, an unacountable number of people injured, and 9 workers’ delegates were seized, leaving thousands of laid off workers without a leader. The rumor was that the suppression was incited by Beijing.
An insider said, that around 7:00 am on October 7, approximately 3,000 policemen entered the Shuangbei Garden, as nearly 10,000 workers gathered. After a stalemate for a period of time, the police started arresting the workers’ delegates, and an intense struggle occurred, during which the two elderly ladies were killed.
One of the ladies was over 70 years old, and one was over 50 years old. Among the arrested delegates were Chen Yingming and Du Lihua.
A witness said on the Internet, ” The policemen there today beat up everyone, men, women, old, and young, without mercy. These are definitely no “people’s police”. I am unable to describable the scene of police brutality that I saw, it is absolutely beyond what you can imagine. They were simply cruel, and they were simply bandits!”
“I saw with my own eyes that dozens of policemen surrounded an over 60 year-old lady, struck and kicked her, and within seconds the old lady fell down on the ground motionless. This occurred only because she said a few words scolding the police.” I was not sure if she was dead or alive.
The reporter was told through the Internet chat room, ” A 7 or 8 year-old boy came to watch the excitement with his grandmother, when he saw the police battering a person and asked his grandmother: ‘Why does uncle policeman want to strike others?’ Immediately the boy was beaten by several policemen. I heard, the boy’s face was full of blood and he lost several teeth.”
Afterwards, thousands of angry workers continued the demonstration at the Shuangbei Garden that very evening, and decided to parade to the city hall the next morning at 7:30 am.
An insider said that, this suppression was ordered because Beijing was very annoyed by not being able to resolve the problem of the Chongqing Special Steel Mill for over 2 months. If Beijing agreed to the special steel worker's request, it wouldn’t know how to solve the problems coming from other companies involved in three northeastern provinces? Therefore, Beijing decided to suppress the workers.
The Chongqing Special Steel Mill was formerly a big factory, 4.5 square kilometers in area with more than 20,000 workers. It declared bankruptcy in July of this year, but did not properly handle the laid off worker’s severance pay. Before the announcement of bankruptcy, this factory formed a new company, Donghua Company, which took over Chongqing Special Steel Mill’s assets and equipment. The workers suspected fraud.
Moreover, the problems of the laid-off workers severance pay, medical insurance, unemployment compensation, retirement pension, etc. were all unresolved, and the workers demanded to know the reasons behind steel mill’s bankruptcy.
This armed force suppression occurred the day before the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s 16th Five Plenary session, which was a night before the Asian and Pacific Mayoral Summit opening day in Chongqing City. It is reported that, as many as 123 domestic and foreign media were covering this fifth session of the Asian and Pacific Mayoral Summit, with as many as 455 reporters covering the event, the highest number ever. It is expected that further development in the steel mill case will continue to attract high interest from the overseas media.