12/22/2011, 00.00
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Haimen, second day of protests against the government and pollution

Inhabitants take to streets again, asking the government to withdraw the project for a new coal plant. Police cars destroyed and plaque torn down from local People's Congress.
Guangzhou (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The population of the village of Haimen, in the eastern part of the rich southern province of Guangdong, are resisting pressure from the authorities and the police and remain in the streets to demand the government withdraw plans to build a charcoal power plant. This, the residents complain, is carcinogenic and adds to another plant that has already killed hundreds of people.

Thousands of people poured into the town’s central square yesterday - which has about 130 thousand inhabitants - and devastated police cars, even the name plate of the People's Congress of Haimen was ripped off and thrown into the street. The Shenzhen-Shantou Highway, which connects the village to the rest of the world, is now under the control of the police who want to avoid an occupation.

Tensions erupted in Haimen last October, when local leaders launched the construction energy project of the Huadian Power International. The project - worth around 56 million euros - also includes the construction of two 600 MW generators, which the executives claim are "environmentally friendly" while fuelled by coal. The population is protesting the construction, claiming that it will destroy the environment and the marine ecosystem, vital to maintaining the standard of life of local fishermen.

Now the central government seems to want to tackle the problem, primarily associated with the illegal expropriation of land, and has prepared a new draft law to regulate the matter. According to the text, still under study, if within 3 months from the acquisition these lands are not used for new projects they must return to government control.

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