China: Arrests and beatings fail to stop Qianjin’s battle against incinerator

CINA_-_Proteste_GuangzhouFor the third time in two weeks, tens of thousands of residents of the village, in the rich province of Guangdong, take to the streets to stop the construction of a plant that will destroy the already fragile ecosystem of the area. The police intervene to disperse them, use sticks and arrest dozens of people. But the protesters say, “If we do not fight, we will lose everything.”Guangzhou (AsiaNews) – For the third time in two weeks, residents of the village of Qianjin have taken to the streets to protest against the planned construction of an incinerator that will put at risk the ecosystem and the health of residents in the area. The government has mandated private industry to build the plant in Shiling, an important leather manufacturing center in the rich province of Guangdong. But residents of the nearby village complain that this will become a vehicle for cancer and pollution.

Despite a massive presence of the armed forces, about 10 thousand demonstrators arrived in Huadu district – in the provincial capital Guangzhou – to ask the government to backtrack. In the first wave of clashes at least four protesters were seriously injured by agents, armed with shields and sticks.

But this failed to halt the protesters who continued their march on government buildings chanting slogans such as: “You want to turn Shiling into a dead zone.” Arriving near the town hall, police charged again, wounding other demonstrators and carrying away at least 20 of them, considered the protest leaders.

The arrests and clashes have not deterred the residents. A man of 30 years, who crafts leather bags in Shiling, told the South China Morning Post: “If we don’t keep on fighting, there will be no home to go back to. We don’t want to be the next Likeng, move the incinerator elsewhere and work on other ways to reduce garbage”.

The protests for environmental protection have increased in China in recent years. The unbridled industrial production and the corruption of the ruling class and politics has increased cases of highly polluting landfills and factories, which the population is beginning to oppose. A few days ago the people of Jiangmen – always in Guangdong – protested until the government backtracked on a project for a uranium processing plant in their area.

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