China: Violent Protest Halts Waste Incinerator Project

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A western Guangdong city has cancelled a plan to build an incinerator that prompted two days of protests that escalated up to around 10,000 people, during which several police cars were either smashed or flipped and a Police office destroyed. Luoding city government posted two letters on its website on Wednesday announcing the decision. One informed the Langtang township government that it had decided to cancel the project, which Langtang had brokered with China Resources Cement Holdings. The second urged residents to stop blocking roads, vandalising property or disturbing public order.

“People are angry with the site selection of the incinerator as it is within a 1km radius of people’s homes,” said one young resident. “The cement factory is producing enough pollution, we don’t need another polluter.”

Residents of Long Town in Luoding City, held a sit-in protest combined with local schools on full strike and a march on Monday April 6th in protest against the local government and China Resources Cement’s private construction of a  waste incineration plant. Residents complain that the ground water and air are already heavily polluted, they fear for the health of their families considering the new waste incinerator would bring 100’s of ton’s of garbage daily from neighbouring cities to be burned.

Residents said about 1,000 locals turned up to Monday’s sit-in, which took place outside a cement factory owned by China Resources. Dozens were beaten by around 100 a mix of policemen and security guards dressed in black and armed with batons, helmets and shields. At least 20 people were arrested.

“My nephew is only 14 and is suffering from concussion after he was beaten by the men with batons,” said one resident.

“It was very brutal and totally unnecessary to use such force against unarmed civilians during a peaceful and rational demonstration, especially as they attacked children too.”

Images of Monday’s Sit-in protest.

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Images of the police response and some of the injuries received by the villagers of Long Town.

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A rough translation of a statement posted on line conveys the concerns of the Long Town residents.

Dear Mayor, we are Long Town villagers. April 6 we are loving home, love the motherland enthusiastic villagers. We have always love the Long Pond, because here is our roots. Our generations grow here, we love the mountains, green water, air. No matter where we are willing to give up our home …… Long Pond! But the quiet beautiful day in the presence of China Resources Cement moment completely changed that way …… China Resources Cement just came in so we did not realize the serious pollution damage, this year we have had enough of mouthful’s of dust. All the pollution problems have yet to be resolved, and now you do not listen to public opinion on Gaoge incineration plant, waste incineration gas produced even a child knows that the gas produced will affect a ten-mile radius, the air people breathe every day will be contaminated. Long Tong town will become toxic, cancer village. We will never allow Long Tong to be destroyed by the hands of our generation. If you insist, we do not mind to do the same as the people in Hong Kong who occupied the government. Counting resources and the destruction vehicles every day, Mr. mayor, I believe you will not call hundreds of armed police to accompany work every day, we are not afraid to make big things. We are not militants, we only pursue the fundamental rights of human existence.

The brutal police repression at Monday’s sit-in protest triggered the larger violent resistance that lasted into Tuesday, which residents say involved about 10,000 locals.

Images retrieved from Chinese social media sites of the demolished local police office.
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Images retrieved from Chinese social media sites of smashed police vehicles.

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More images of the resistance.

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More on Incinerator – pollution protests in China

Guangdong in September 2014 – 20,000 Protest Waste Incinerator Project in China

Hangzhou in May 2014: Brutal Crackdown on Hangzhou Waste Incinerator Protest Leaves 3 Dead, Sparks Riot

Maoming in March 2014:
China: Dozens Beaten Bloody, up to Ten Possible Deaths at Maoming Anti-PX Protests

Maoming China Day 3 of Anti-PX Protests Escalate After Deaths and Violence

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