Monday, March 11, 2013

Another Protest, Another Village Disappears From China's Weibos - Shangpu, Guangdong

Photos from NPR's Weibo post

On March 4, 2013, the state-sponsored Global Times published an English language report entitled "Village Head Orders Attack, as Local Thugs are Hunted." Some excerpts:
The public security bureau of Jiexi county in Guangdong Province arrested eight people Friday suspected of being hired by a village leader to attack his own villagers after he claimed he was attacked by them, the Nanfang Daily reported.
County authorities said that on the morning of February 22, village committee director, Li Baoyu, called police to report he was attacked in his office and injured by six masked thugs. Less than an hour later, police say, Li hired his own thugs from other villages and ordered them to attack residents of Shangpu village, said the newspaper.
. . . .
It is not entirely clear what caused the clash, but according to AFP it was triggered by a controversial land deal that would turn some of the village's rice fields into an industrial zone.
These screenshots show that both Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo began censoring searches for "Shangpu Village" (上浦村) on March 6.

Before Sina started censoring searches the top result was a March 5 post from National Public Radio which read:
[Chinese Farmers Revolt Against Government Land Grab] On February 22, a group of thugs rushed into Shangpu Village, intending to intimidate villagers into handing over their land. The villagers said that the land been transferred under unclear circumstances from the village cadres to business people with whom their were colluding. Villagers were demanding to chose their own leaders through democratic elections, and hoped the government could pay attention to the people's land problems.
【Chinese Farmers Revolt Against Government Land Grab】2月22日,一伙暴徒闯入广东上浦村,企图威胁村民交出自己的土地。民众称土地在不知情的情况下被村干部低价转让给与其勾结的商人。村民呼吁通过民主选举方式选出自己的领导,并希望政府可以重视关乎民生的土地问题。