There were 58,000 “mass incidents”, the Chinese state's euphemism for strikes, street protests, roadblocks and other forms of mass protests, in China in the first three months of this year.
Chinaworker.info reports the monitoring agencies in Hong Kong, and cites the pace of job losses and migrants being forced to return home as the main causes. The figure covers protests which involved 25 or more people.
The report said that if this trend continues, then 2009 would break all previous records with over 230,000 'mass incidents', compared to 120,000 in 2008 and 90,000 in 2006.
It said one of the most recent spectacular protest occurred on May 1, when hundreds of coal miners in Jiangsu province staged a wildcat strike and demonstration, demanding pay rises and more investment in mine safety. It said the workers' action was in defiance of extensive attempts by police, mine managers, and the government of Jiangsu to prevent the protest.
Chinaworker.info is to publish soon a full report of the Jiangsu miners' struggle.