Land grab protest in S. China simmers for 4th day

Villagers from Wukan collect signatures in support for a protest in Lufeng, a city of 1.7 million, in the southern Chinese Guangdong province September 23, 2011

Sat, Sep 24 2011

By James Pomfret

LUFENG, China (Reuters) – Hundreds of farmers from two villages in southern China’s economic powerhouse Guangdong province persisted with a fourth straight day of protests on Saturday against brazen land grabs in the latest unrest to roil the region.

Lufeng, a city of 1.7 million, saw violent clashes with authorities earlier in the week, when villagers in the suburb of Wukan ransacked a government office and police station after riot police chased and beat up protesters.

No violence was reported in Saturday’s protests, with security forces noticeably absent.

“We don’t have weapons and armour, nor can we match them for strength, but we have the numbers to protect our village and the lives in it,” said Lin Zuliang, a farmer representative from Wukan who addressed a cheering crowd via loud speaker. Continue reading

Hundreds of protesters attack police station in China

(AFP) – BEIJING — Hundreds of protesters attacked a police station in southern China and ransacked vehicles, leaving dozens injured in the latest unrest to hit China’s industrial heartland, authorities said on Friday.It was the latest in a series of protests sparked by perceived social injustices in Guangdong, known as the workshop of the world for the tens of millions of migrant workers who toil in the province’s factories.

Rioters angered by a government land deal and rumours that police officers had killed a child wrecked vehicles and attacked police at the station in Guangdong’s Lufeng city, local authorities said in a statement.

Unrest first broke out Wednesday among local people but escalated after rumours of the child’s death spread, the statement said. On Friday, further protests were reported in a village nearby.

“On September 22 at around one in the afternoon, some villagers who had ulterior motives spread rumours about police killing a child, inciting some of the villagers to storm a border police station,” the statement said.

One insider with close knowledge of the incident, who refused to be identified, told AFP by phone that villagers took more than 20 government and public security officials hostage in the police station.

He said they were angry about the detention of four other residents, and only when these were freed did they let the officials go. Continue reading