Shenzhen Protesters Block Road

Authorities in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen detained dozens of people and clashed with protesters who blocked a major road over graft allegations linked to the management of their apartment blocks, local residents said on Wednesday.

More than 100 residents of the Jingcheng Garden apartment complex in Shenzhen’s Xinqiao village staged a protest Tuesday on the road outside local government offices.

An eyewitness working in a nearby furniture store said she had seen police attacking the protesters.

“They were beating them, as well, beating up the villagers from Xinqiao who were blocking the road,” she said.

“They were kicking them with their boots,” she said. “They took all the men away.”

An employee from a nearby restaurant surnamed Zeng said traffic was moving freely once more on Wednesday, but that there were still some protesters outside the Xinqiao Party committee offices.

“There were around 20 buses that the security guards used to take the villagers away in,” he said. “There were some journalists who tried to shoot the scene but they were prevented from doing so by police.”

“The police were beating people up … We took photos of some of the villagers who were bleeding from the beatings,” Zeng said. “The police were using their fists and electric batons.”

Protesters were angry over the sale of more than 1,000 parking places at the complex, which officials had then tried to force residents to buy back, Chen added.

She said the management company was asking each apartment owner for 6-11 million yuan (U.S. $946,000-1.73 million) per parking space.

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