Land Grab Protest Escalates in Southeastern China

April 28, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

A month-long protest over farmland expropriation in Fujian Province has escalated after police moved in, arresting and attacking villagers. In retaliation, thousands of angry villagers have taken to the streets, smashing police cars and capturing the local Party chief.

Locals from Panxu Village have been sitting outside the local town hall since March 17, after authorities requisitioned a collectively owned block of farmland to build a golf course.

Around 4 a.m. on April 24, several hundred police and anti-riot police arrested many villagers. They confiscated banners and a tent, burning them on the spot. A 70-year-old woman was beaten with an electric baton and was taken to hospital, according to the China Jasmine Movements website. 

In response, several thousand angry villagers smashed up police cars and punctured tires, Radio Free Asia reported. Several people captured the local Party chief Chen Chen, and humiliated her by stripping some of her clothing in public. Protesters then uploaded photos of the conflict onto the Internet, including a picture of the half-naked Party chief.

About two weeks ago, more than 4,000 villagers had gone to the town hall, demanding the release of several detained representatives from the Panxu Villagers’ Committee. 

Despite intimidation by local authorities, the villagers appear determined to seek justice.

Translation by Gao Hao.

Read the original Chinese article.