Two Thousand Chinese Villagers Protest Against Power Construction

April 18, 2012 Updated: April 20, 2012

In a normally quiet town in Jiangsu Province, over 2,000 villagers on April 13 felt their best course of action to resist the construction of high-voltage cables was to flood the streets, cause traffic jams, and overturn a police car. 

The cables were being constructed in their village of Shiqiaozhen, of Lianyungang city, in Jiangsu. The Whitestone Steel Factory made an initial attempt at cable construction on April 13, but was stopped. 

Shiqiaozhen authorities dispatched riot police who shut down the protest. Some villagers were injured, and four or five were arrested, according to telephone interviews with residents. The police allowed those detained to leave that evening. 

An individual answering the phone at the Shiqiaozhen police station said in response to queries about the protest that he could not answer any questions, as the leadership was not there. 

A well-informed source in the area said that villagers share a particular animus toward an official named Li Guochi. Li is the current Party branch secretary, and local peasants believe he has repeatedly abused his power for personal gain while introducing construction projects that pollute the area.