It kicked off in the Wansheng district of Chongqing this week, with many of its residents getting out on the streets to oppose the merger with Qijiang county, afraid that their living standards and economic conditions will deteriorate after the merge.
I've been a bit out of touch politically recently as I've got a load of things to sort out, so I thought I'd do more of a cultural post and introduce some Chinese music to the libcom readers. This won't be very representative of the average Chinese worker's musical choice, but just stuff that I've found interesting.
China Blue is a documentary that follows a 17 year old Chinese girl migrating from her home in the Sichuan province to work in a jeans factory in Guangdong. It shows the harsh realities as a factory worker for millions of migrants in China.
When I think of petitioning in the UK, I think of walking around some town centre on a Saturday, hearing someone on a megaphone ranting how they are 'against' something (war, capitalism, cuts etc), then turning towards the noise and seeing a bunch of Trots standing around a stall trying to sell papers and getting people to sign a petition that goes nowhere. In China though, something as harmless as a petition can see you face years inside one of the 'black jails'.
It seems the new parasitic class of Chinese millionaires are not content with merely making millions through exploiting the Chinese working class. Increasing numbers of them are now choosing to spend these millions to pay for the right to kill animals all over the world, spending up to 498,800 yuan (about £49,880) on a single hunting holiday. Both the business owners and top ranking government officials are reveling in this new opportunity to act like complete wankers.
Another Chinese village, apparently inspired by the Wukan uprising of last year, has been protesting over land grabs, causing the local government officials to flee. Around 5000 villagers of East and West Panhe Villages, Cangnan County, in Zhejiang Province, are now reported to be running the village themselves.
A documentary about the effects the building of the Three Gorges Dam across the Yangtze river in China has had on the people who lived in the surrounding areas. It a gives a good insight into the transition that China has been making over the last couple of decades to a neo-liberal capitalist state.
Here's a video (and links to a couple of other videos) previewing the new documentary about the Chinese artist and political activist, Ai Weiwei, which is premiering at the Sundance Film Festival. I've also added my own thoughts on Ai Weiwei.
The last year seems to have seen a rise in the Chinese government cracking down on political activists, seemingly in response to the threat of the Arab Spring influencing Chinese citizens. There has also been another increase of this type of activity over the last month, using the holiday season to catch people off guard. This also has to be seen in the context of the government trying to clean up their image by backing off in so called 'mass incidents', but really nothing much seems to of changed.