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    » 05/26/2009, 00.00


    Farmers storm police station in Yingde, Guangdong

    Incident is sparked by an unsubstantiated rumour that a farmer had died in prison. Poor rural communities are usually deprived of basic rights and are increasingly exasperated. Anything, however small, can lead to street protests that can turn violent.
    Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Hundreds of tea farmers attacked a police station in Yingde (Guangdong) on Saturday after rumours spread that one man had been killed in custody for fighting for farmers' rights. The turn of events is an indicator of the level of exasperation felt in poor rural communities where essential services like free health care are in short supply.

    The riot lasted more than four hours before being brought under control, but no information on damage or injuries was given.

    Tea farmers in the city of Yingde have complained for years that authorities have not provided them with required medical insurance, social pensions and unemployment compensation, the China Daily reported.

    Farmers protested twice this month, leading police on Friday to arrest four organisers suspected of planning larger demonstrations.

    About 300 farmers gathered Saturday at the police station to demand the release of the four, but the rally became a riot when word spread that one of the men in custody had been killed.

    Last year 87,000 incidents of social unrest were recorded by the Interior Ministry.

    Workers denied wage and farmers deprived of their land without proper compensation often have no legal recourse to defend their rights. Thus they take to the streets and clash with police often used to protect the interests of business and local authorities.

    Many incidents need very little to be set off.

    Last week in Gansu more than a thousand protesters took to the streets, injuring 10 police and government officials and overturning police cars, media reported.

    The riot was sparked by anger after officers allegedly beat a cyclist for running a red light.

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    See also

    10/11/2004 CHINA
    In Sichuan farmers still protesting against dam construction
    Demonstrations are on the rise. A thousand industrial workers go on strike in Guangzhou demanding a weekly day of rest.

    04/07/2005 CHINA
    Clashes over requisitions continue
    In the southern province of Guangdong arrests continue as police and farmers clash over land evictions.

    07/05/2009 CHINA
    Farmer dies in clashes with authorities to defend his land
    Local sources blame police. Local government officials say clashes were between farmers and construction company employees. Hundreds take the body to local government building, demanding justice. More clashes with police take place in the evening.

    21/07/2011 CHINA
    Rebiya Kadeer: Chinese government real terrorist
    The exiled Uyghur leader sees through Beijing’s charges of terrorism in Hotan clashes two days ago and demands China cease arbitrary arrests and torture. Meanwhile, Uyghur sources speak of at least 20 dead and 70 arrested.

    11/11/2008 CHINA
    Strikes and clashes with police boom as a result of economic injustice
    Entrepreneurs, local authorities and common criminals oppress industrial workers and peasants. But ordinary citizens have taken to the streets, laid siege to government buildings, demanding justice. Four officials are jailed for beating to death a passer-by.

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