Mon, September 24, 2012
China > Mainland

Silent protest sets in when the loud one settled

2012-07-04 06:54:55 GMT2012-07-04 14:54:55(Beijing Time)  SINA.com

By Li Hongmei, Sina English

Protests launched in Shifang, a city in Sichuan province, against the construction of a molybdenum plant have been resolved with the local government declaring that the project is to be cancelled.

The citizens of Shifang - a county-level city that suffered heavily from the 2008 Sichuan earthquake - believe that the factory will bring high levels of pollution. Nearly 20,000 protesters on July 1 began a march against the construction site.

Thousands of police and soldiers from the paramilitary People's Armed Police were deployed to Shifang to suppress the rally. They began attacking protesters with tear gas and stun grenades on Monday. Thirteen civilians were injured, and some police vehicles were damaged and overturned by protesters.

The mass unrest has since been settled by the local government’s compromise, but the rift has set in between the locals and the armed police. Many a business down the Shifang streets has put up the notice, which reads: Armed police are banned entry.

The loud protest is relatively easier to detect and unravel, but the silent one takes time and, more efforts from the relevant authorities.

Related news:

Project halted after protest in Shifang

Thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest over the construction of a heavy metal refinery in Shifang, Sichuan Province for environmental and health concerns, prompting authorities to halt the project and solicit public opinions.

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