Thousands of residents of an apartment complex clashed with hundreds of security guards and riot police in central China’s Chongqing Province on July 14. The incident, which arose from dissatisfaction over increased parking fees, resulted in arrests and injuries of some residents.
Footage of the melee from Chinese social media shows security guards and police chasing down protesting residents and dragging them onto buses.
The clashes started at around 7 p.m. on July 14 and lasted until midnight, Li, a resident, told The Epoch Times. Earlier in the morning, the real estate firm that owns the complex sent several buses to monitor the area and enforce increased parking rates that were due to start that day.
It is unclear exactly what triggered the violence; but by the time riot police arrived, thousands of residents and hundreds of guards were at the scene, according to Li.
“The clash was brutal, with security guards chasing and beating the residents, dragging them onto large buses parked on the street,” he said.
Video footage shows chaos on the street next to the apartment complex that was packed with residents, police, security guards, and vehicles.
One video shows four security guards dragging residents onto a bus.
“A security guard pushed me to the ground, breaking my arm,” said one resident in another video. While lying on the ground injured, riot police surrounded her, blocking other residents from helping her, the woman said.
Relations between the building’s residents and the owner have been strained since the company decided to raise parking fees last year, according to Li.
Further, some parking spots that were previously free were converted to fee-paying on July 14.
“People were unhappy that their spots were taken away,” Li said. “If you want to buy a spot, it’s really expensive. If you rent it, you have to pay $41.76 per month plus a $7.74 management fee. Both buying and renting are expensive.”
Gu Xiaohua contributed to this report.