Beijing Residents March to Protect Property Rights

By Zhou Huiying, Central News Agency
August 1, 2006 12:00 am Last Updated: August 1, 2006 12:00 am

BEIJING –Beijing residents have started to uphold their rights in recent years. On July 25, over 50 Beijing residents marched in the city's main street to protest a real estate developer who was violation of their property rights. They blocked traffic and were finally taken away by the police.

According to a July 26 report in The Beijing News, over 50 Beijing residents marched on East Sanhuan Road, one of the main roads in Beijing. All of them live in a newly developed residential area. At first, they marched along the side of the road, but soon they started to march side by side and blocked all traffic heading north. The traffic obstruction extended for about half a mile.

Many of the protesters held sun umbrellas or video cameras, which made passersby and local shop owners very curious. Some wondered, “Are they tourists who have lost their way?”

The protesters say they live in a local residential district. They started the protest because the developer tried to force them to sign property handover documents before their properties had been finished, such as the road conditions and the public area gardens. The protesters were marching to the Chaoyang District Construction Committee to reason things out.

As a result of the protest, the developer published a notice stating that due to various reasons, the company could not deliver the property by the date specified in the terms of the contract. The developer agreed to pay a fine at the time of the property handover and to pay management fees for another 35 days.

After the protesters achieved their objective, the local police took them away. The police said the protest had blocked traffic and breached the Public Security Administration Law.