PX Incident in Maoming, Guangdong
Pictures sourced from the Internet
On March 30, 2014, tens of thousands of people in Maoming, Guangdong China marched onto the streets to protest against the local government building the PX chemical plant. Maoming authorities mobilized a large number of policemen to violently suppress the protests by using shields, iron pipes, smoke bombs, tear bombs, and even dispatched armored tanks.
According to witnesses, many people, including students in uniforms and the elderlies, were badly beaten up. Students were forced to return to school even though it was a Sunday; they would be expelled as long as they step out of the school gates. The women and students were chased and beaten as well, and there was much bloodshed in the end. Unconfirmed rumors state that around 2 to 15 people lost their lives, and over hundreds were injured.
The Chinese official media initially denied the occurrence of any violent conflict, but later claimed that there were many injured but no deaths. On April 1, the protests extended to Guangzhou; on April 3, around 20 people held demonstrations in Shenzhen. According to the Chinese Communist Party’s media report, as of April 2 evening, Maoming city police investigated 44 people, of whom 18 were detained; administrative penalties were imposed against 26 people, and no deaths were reported.
Chinese authorities approached this incident by violently suppressing the protests, censoring the media, blocking the roads and all related information. Authorities also arranged for the media to play down the incident, and emphasized instead on another incident about an actor’s inappropriate behavior in order to divert public attention. Chinese authorities consistently misuse military equipment, ignore public opinion, and disregard human life. Military police and armored tanks can be deployed to suppress just an environmental demonstration, not even sparing the women and children. Oppressed Chinese people need all the support and help they can get from democracy activists and human rights organizations around the world.
Amid the wave of demonstrations in Maoming, Guangdong, emerged a young lady named Dongqin Guan. She was arrested on April 1, 2014 as a result of her courage to fight for freedom for the people. Thus, netizens call her the “most courageous beauty”.
Many others were arrested along with Dongqin Guan. A netizen broke the news online that 9 people who were arrested are currently detained at the police station and are doing fine. Someone went to the hospital to check her injuries; she was in shock, there were 5 people attacking one person at the same time. Another person took down the police ID number 022378; hopefully more people will have the courage to stand up and speak out.