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.
As many people predicted after the Wukan uprising, villagers taking more militant action in opposition to land grabs is happening again according to reports from a few days ago (sorry for taking so long on this, just been busy recently!).
A villager, Lu Yeqin told reporters that:
“Village cadres sold land. Some of it belonged to villagers, but the cadres didn’t give any money to the villagers after selling the land, so we can’t accept it. That land was from our ancestors. We lived on the land before, but now it has been sold.”
The villagers only realised the land had been sold once construction had started on some of the land in October of last year, but it was apparently sold back in 2006, without letting any of the villagers know about it. Protests started happening almost immediately with locals tearing down walls that enclosed the land, causing clashes with police, with many injuries and arrests, some of whom are still detained.
After months of complaints to the local government, protests escalated again in the first week of February, causing the government officials to shit it and do a runner.
Not wanting to lose face, Lin Hongcao, a township party committee officer responsible for propaganda, denied that they legged it saying, "That is untrue." But he declined to say owt else and referred all questions to the government propaganda office.
Another villager, Mr Chen said:
“The Wukan villagers’ victory provides an example for landless peasants. Villagers of Panhe village want to get rid of the control of the local government. We take to the street and shout slogans, hoping to arouse the attention of higher levels of government. If the government doesn’t release the villagers and solve the problem of the land, villagers will hold larger rights protecting movements,”