Dazhu Incident Shows Chinese Ability to Mobilize in Protest Exceeds 'June 4'

By Yu Qing, Sound of Hope Radio Network
January 26, 2007 Updated: January 26, 2007

A 16-year-old receptionist in Laishide Hotel in Dazhu County, Sichuan Province was suspected to have been raped and killed by three local officials on December 29, 2006. The girl's tragic death drew the sympathy of many people. The authorities' protection of the suspected officials provoked public anger. On the afternoon of January 17, tens of thousands of people gathered on Xinhua Square of Dazhu County to protest the authorities' behavior. The authorities mobilized thousands of police to use high-pressure water canons to suppress the protesters.

Sound of Hope reporter interviewed Huang Qi, a Sichuan human rights worker, about this incident.

Huang Qi believes that the CCP has had too many human rights violations, and the protest is a symptom of accumulated anger and dissatisfaction from people.

Huang said, “You saw an article published on Skynet which talked about a farmer who traveled from 35 kilometers away to protest. Why? They wanted to use this opportunity to express their dissatisfaction with the CCP and use this opportunity to expose the CCP's violations of human rights. So I feel that the CCP really has to stop what it is doing right now. If it continues like this, to be honest, in the future no matter how compassionate the people are, they will finally explode. That situation will be very hard to control and cannot be stopped by anyone. Therefore instead of being overthrown like Saddam Hussein, it should correct itself and follow the path of compassion.”

Huang felt that in the present case, the ability of people to mobilize in protest is actually greater than what occurred at Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989.

Huang said, “Local people moved rapidly. Think about it, villagers and farmers from up to 35 kilometers away all came. There are not many people who live in Dazhu City, but there were about 50,000 to 60,000 people gathered on the site. Therefore the mobilization ability of people is expanding rapidly.”

Since the beginning of 2007, many large-scale activities to defend human rights have happened in China. On January 18, in Guangdong's Sanshan County, villagers agitated at forced land seizures were involved in a large-scale conflict with the police. On January 17, a couple of thousdand people gathered in front of the Letter-or-Visit Office in Beijing.