Uncompensated Villagers Try to Stop Power Plant Construction
Conflict rises again in Shanwei, Guangdong Province because of the forceful and uncompensated land acquisition for a power plant in 2005.
Since the Shanwei Massacre broke out on December 6, 2005, even under the watchful eyes of the international media, the local regime has never stopped the power plant's construction or the crackdown on the local villagers.
On August 15 and 16, 2007, over 1000 residents from Dongzhou Village attempted to stop the Shanwei Power Plant from hanging power cables. The authority in Shanwei City never compensated these residents for the land used for the construction of the power plant. The local authority hired gangsters to protect the construction site from the protesting residents.
According to a villager surnamed Liu from Dongyi Village, instead of solving the compensation problem, the authority hired hundreds of gangsters to protect the Shanwei Power Plant's 500kV electric cable construction site. The residents had tried to initiate a dialogue with the Shanwei authority on many occasions, but their requests went unanswered. Over 1000 residents finally decided to stop the construction.
Gangsters and Police Outnumbered
The power cable construction site is located at the intersection where the brutal massacre took place on December 6, 2005. On August 15, 2007, there were over 100 gangsters and 50 police officers at the site when more than 1000 villagers went to the site during the day. No conflict took place.
Xu from Dongyi Village said, “In the evening on the August 15, a meeting was held in the village. The head of the police station came to warn the villagers, threatening to arrest the villager who rang the copper gong (to call the assembly). The angry villagers drove the police away and decided to continue the protest on August 16.”
On August 16, over 1000 villagers went back to the construction site and a conflict took place. The gangsters who protected the site withdrew because they were outnumbered. The angry villagers burned one of the gangsters' tents.
Authorities Embezzled the Money
It is known that the Shanwei Power Plant had already given the City authorities the compensation for the site. The authorities embezzled the money and left the villagers penniless. Recently residents in Dongsi Village received part of their compensation, which covered the majority of the victims from the Massacre on December 6, 2005, estimated to be over 70 villagers who were shot dead during the crackdown.
However, residents from other villages were told to go to the gangsters if they wanted their money. The city's attitude angered the villagers, who later decided to interrupt the construction. A villager said, “Because of the compensation issue, a brutal violence took place in March and April this year. Many villagers were wounded and a gangster died during the conflict. As a result, the authority decided to issue compensation for the deceased villagers to suppress the news.”
On November 9, 2006, Chen Qian, one of the villagers, hung a banner saying “No Corrupt Officials” in the village. The police arrested Chen. Chen was sentenced to a year for “assault” but none of Chen's relatives know where he is serving the sentence.
The first bloody conflict in Shanwei City happened on December 6, 2005. However, until now, the armed officers who shot the protesting villagers have not been arrested. The villagers still haven't gotten their compensation, except a few of the families of the dead, and the corruption in the village and resident's oppressed living conditions have not improved.