Here’s another case to go up on the Bloody Map. A 49-year-old man here in Shanghai has died under somewhat mysterious circumstances while trying to protect his house from demolition. Update: Xinhua has apparently confirmed it was a heart attack.
Zhou Daming, was “besieged” and “pushed” by a group of 20 men who came to notify him of the impending demolition of his house, located in Shanghai’s downtown Huangpu district. When the men dispersed, Zhou was found lying unconscious, said witness Zhou Juhua, the victim’s sister.
Despite emergency treatment from a nearby medical center, he died thirty minutes later. It wasn’t clear whether the demolition squad assaulted Zhou as his body showed no obvious signs of injuries. His sister said the deceased had a history of high blood pressure and that his death may have resulted from a sudden rise in blood pressure during the confrontation. Regardless, Zhou Juhua said that the men in the demolition squad should still be held responsible and is demanding that the authorities give their family a proper explanation.
The demolition project wants to create low-rent and affordable housing to sit where Zhou’s house currently lies. Construction began at the end of 2008 but was halted during the Expo, resuming only recently. 75 percent or more of the houses in the designated area have already been demolished, but the Zhou family hadn’t come to an agreement with the property developers because “the family of one sister and two brothers, who live in a cramped 46.2-square-meter house with their children were asking to be compensated as three households instead of one.”
Zhou Yuting, the niece of the victim, told China Daily that when she challenged the demolition squad with the draft amendment (which states that full compensation must be given,) developers simply said that the amendment had not yet come into effect.
The government is staying mum on this one but directly or indirectly, the forcible demolitions resulted in Zhou Daming’s unfortunate demise – yet another casualty in this trail of bloody evictions.
Meanwhile, a reader sends in a picture of another housing protest happening in the Yangpu district. On the corner of Tongbei Lu and Huimin Lu, a man dressed in funeral garb has been blaring the Chinese national anthem from his nail house for two days now. Says the reader:
As you’ll see from the photos he’s protesting the inadequate
amount of compensation he and the seven members of his family are being offered, as well as not receiving any new housing.
Sadly as am sure you know these sorts of protests are all too common, but the
fact that he’s wearing such clothing makes the situation all the more disturbing.