Wukan Protests: Two Worlds, Uneasy Co-Existence – WRIC
Women’s Rights in China (WRIC) report.
Journalists working for Women’s Rights in China (WRIC) wrchina.org report that local authorities in Shanwei, China, have ended the blockade of Wukan, the village which had been in open rebellion in the last few weeks.
On December 22nd, WRChina reporters saw an eerie scene of silent confrontation. Red banners in the streets proclaim “Enthusiastic Welcome to Provincial Working Group Visiting Our Village” and “Support the Communist Party, Support the Party Leadership”. While notices issued by the village self-governing committee, “Corrupt Officials Must Pay for Destruction of Our Land” and “Remember Wukan Hero Xue Jinbo” remain. The contrast symbolized the chilly confrontation behind the two days of peace after the blockade had been lifted.
At 4pm on December 22nd, Deputy Provincial Party Chairman Zhu Mingguo visited the village for a brief tour. Before his departure, he declared that the government would not seek to prosecute the participants or organizers of the rioting. The government’s resolution of events in Wukan would satisfy the village residents, they said. One villager who had been under arrest has been released.
However, village residents have told WRChina reporters that two other arrested villagers still remain in detention. The body of Xue Jinbo had not been returned. The government promised to “release the prisoners, return the body, acknowledge village election results and return the land” by the 23rd of December. If the promise is not kept, villagers plan to continue their protest.
Villagers watched reports on their protests on Phoenix Satellite Television by nightfall. Groups gathered to discuss recent developments, focusing on possible government retributions in the future. Wukan residents have been very friendly to outside visitors. Several stores resumed operations in the village, although most remain closed.
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