Thousands of Guangdong Farmers March for Rights

November 22, 2011 9:16 pm Last Updated: November 24, 2011 11:13 am
farmers protest in lufeng guangdong china
In a well-organized rally, several thousand farmers marched in Lufeng, Guangdong Province, on Nov. 21, 2011, demanding their right to vote and a resolution of authorities' illegal land grabs. (Weibo.com)

Thousands of farmers in Guangdong Province have taken to the streets on the morning of Nov. 21, asking for human rights and an end to authoritarian rule and government corruption.

Villagers from Wukang Village, Lufeng County, came out at 8 a.m., on Monday, carrying many banners and shouting slogans: “Oppose authoritarian rule, punish corruption, give us back our human rights.”

What is unique is that for the first time, Chinese policemen were escorting the parade showing that it is an act permitted by authority.

Photos of the rally were posted on Twitter. According to slogans written on their banners, the villagers’ two main grievances appear to be the manipulation of village elections and issues surrounding the illegally established Lufeng Wukang Industrial Development Company.

The village party secretary has held the post for more than 40 years without any change. Every time village elections are held, fake votes are used to falsify the outcome, and villagers have never seen genuine ballots, they say.

There are also festering issues over land grabs. Since 2009, Wukang villagers have petitioned because of land expropriation problems. According to some villagers, 80 percent of the local collective land has been sold illegally, and officials have pocketed about 700 million yuan of compensation money, prompting daylong “mass incidents” between police and villagers in September, with many injuries.

Netizens added information and applauded the villagers.

Phantom One” said: “1) Villagers applied for an events permit in advance (whether it was granted is unknown). 2) Wukan villagers chipped in and received some donations; funds raised for the march reached several million. 3) On the day before yesterday, Wukan villagers organized security teams wearing red armband, as can be seen in the photos, to maintain order during the march. Bravo, Wukan people!”

“r1lkt” said, “Thunder Immortal in the sky, Lufeng on the ground–a small step for Lufeng, but a giant stride for the whole nation. Once the banners are displayed, the people of Lufeng will be admired throughout the country.”

“Roadside onlooker” said, “People finally awake and take action.”

Read the original Chinese article HERE.