12/20/2011, 00.00
CHINA
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Wukan residents ready for anything now that police has imposed a “hunger” siege

The nine-day police siege of a village in the rich southern province of Guangdong continues. Since no food is allowed in, residents have begun distributing free food to those in need, as they prepare for a police attack if it comes. Tomorrow they plan to march on Lufeng.
Guangzhou (AsiaNews) – After nine days of siege, residents of Wukan, a rebel village in the rich southern province of Guangdong, have begun giving free food to the poor. This comes after police stopped letting food into the village to break the will of those who are resisting the government.

Villagers are allowed to come and go from Wukan as long as they don’t bring in food supplies, Huang Rongbiao, a restaurant owner in Wukan said. “Maybe there’s enough food for now but I can’t guess how long that will last,” he added. “Hopefully, the government will handle this and we are waiting for news.”

The blockade began on 10 December when locals were enraged by the death in police custody of Xue Jinbo, a protest leader.

The situation became tense in Wukan in September when hundreds of residents stormed the municipal building and a police station to protest land seizures.

After national authorities promised to look into the matter, tensions decreased. However, when the investigation by local authorities produced nothing, the protest movement started again. Thousands of protesters plan to march to the city of Lufeng tomorrow to demand justice.

Social unrest is growing across China, something that scares the government. Last Friday, Zhou Yongkang, Public Security Minister and member of the powerful Standing Committee of the Politburo of the Communist Party, launched a six-month campaign to improve relations between Security Forces and the population as well as between social groups.

At the same time, the government is cranking up its censorship. Online, Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like service, has blocked references to Wukan, increasing its list of politically sensitive words like Dalai Lama, Tiananmen and religious freedom.

In Wukan, the turn of events has further incensed people. Now, 80 per cent of its 13,000 residents have indicated their willingness to fight with police if it should attack.
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