China – Tens of Thousands of residents of the southwestern county of Linshui gathered in the morning and marched about 3km. Photos posted by the protesters on social media also showed violent attacks by a police tactical team(SWAT)and the resistance that followed lasted all day and well into the night.
The residents want (need) to have a proposed railway linking Dazhou to Chongqing pass through their county in the centre of Sichuan. The county currently has no railway, waterway, or airport.
Rage built up last week after residents found out that the authorities favor another plan – that the railway stretching more than 200km will instead by-pass Linshui and be routed through the late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping’s hometown Guangan , to the west of Linshui.
Some Linshui residents claimed to have written to the mayor of Guangan on the city’s official website to ask whether he had any knowledge of the progress of the railway project. The mayor allegedly replied on May 7 that the railway would pass through his city, not Linshui.
The reply could no longer been found on the website, and Linshui residents said it was taken down by the local authority in fear of controversy.
But the mayor’s alleged reply was widely circulated on social networks, prompting Linshui residents to publish online several open letters addressed to the state authorities.
“There are two railways passing through Guangan. We are the only county in the region that has nothing,” one of the letters read.
“The Guangan authorities are taking advantage of their prerogative [as the hometown of Deng]to monopolize resources.”
A large number of police guard the scene. In late afternoon, Guang’an City special police force use violence to suppress the people of Linshui. Social media is reporting that at least 2 people have been killed and hundreds injured. One of the dead is a 12yr old boy.
The public responds with stones, bricks, sticks. People angered by the repression smashed and burned a lot of police cars. The conflict continued all day and into the night.