China: villagers occupy, ransack factory in pollution protest

Some 500 villagers in China’s Zhejiang province protested for a third day Sept. 17 at the factory of Zhejiang Jinko Solar, storming the compound, ransacking offices and overturning vehicles. Residents from the village of Hongxiao gathered outside the gates of the solar panel manufacturer in nearby Haining city to demand an explanation for the death of a large swath of fish in a river downstream from the plant last month. They grew angry after receiving no answer following a three-day vigil. The factory had earlier this year received a warning from Haining’s environmental protection bureau for improper waste disposal. The company sells solar products around the world, maintaining offices in the US and Europe.

Protests over pollution have spread across China in recent years. In August, a petrochemical plant in northern city of Dalian (Liaoning province) was shut down after thousands of residents took to streets to demand its relocation over concerns about toxic leaks. A similar protest in 2007 forced authorities in southeastern Xiamen city (Fujian province) to scrap plans to build a petrochemical complex. (Xinhua, Sept. 18)

See our last posts on China and the peasants’ struggle.

Please leave a tip or answer the Exit Poll.

  1. China: river mysteriously turns blood-red

    Another ominous case, again from Zhejiang province, but this time more mysterious. A waterway in the city of Wenzhou suddenly inexplicably turned blood-red July 24, and began emitting an unpleasant smell. "Inspectors from the Wenzhou Environmental Protection Bureau are now at the site to take samples and analyze the cause of the incident," according to CRI English, which asserts that there are no chemical plants along the waterway. The unnamed local source for the claim is sketchy, however. More at Reuters.