Brutal Crackdown on Protest in Chongqing Leaves Two Dead

Citizens of the former Wansheng District in Chongqing, China have been making headlines, for their daily peaceful walking protests in response to the merge of their district with a nearby county. Now thousands of residents in the former Shuangqiao District in Chongqing have started blocking streets in protest of the merge of their district with Dazu.

On Wednesday, authorities sent riot police to suppress the protest. The policemen used batons to beat the protesters.

On Thursday, Shuangqiao District residents described what happened.

[Yang, Shuangqiao District Resident]:
“I heard a lot of people were beaten yesterday. [I] saw two buses full of policemen.”

[Shuangqiao District Resident]:
“The beatings are very violent today. [They are] still beating [people] right now. Mostly it was the riot police from outside who drove over and started beating people. One elderly woman did not make it to the hospital, and a pregnant woman lost her child.”

A policeman from Shuang Lu Police Department confirmed over the phone that local residents were protesting, but declined to comment further.

According to another Shuangqiao resident, Shuangqiao District had a state-owned company called Hong-Yan auto. But due to policy mistakes, it was moved to Chongqing Jiangbei District, making it difficult for locals to obtain employment. With the recent forced merge of Shuangqiao District into Dazu County, the compensation for confiscated land decreased sharply, and many other welfare benefits were also not in place.

[Yang, Shuangqiao District Resident]:
“Now that [Shuangqiao] is merged with Dazu, the compensation for confiscated land is worse than before, and pension, along with other benefits are not paid.”

According to Radio Free Asia, more than 2000 riot police were sent to disperse the crowds. Two protesters have reportedly died, more than 20 people have been injured, and the protest continues.

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