Thursday, April 12, 2012
CHINA REVOLT - Violence in Chong Qing | 重庆万人骚乱
MORE PICTURES 1, 2, 3
Officials are claiming that the riot in Chongqing's Wansheng district, which reportedly saw more than 10,000 angry residents and police clash in the streets on Tuesday and Wednesday, has finally been brought under control, although the extent of the violence reported by the government has been called into question.
The incident began on Tuesday as a peaceful but vocal afternoon demonstration over the forced merging of Wansheng district and Qijiang county in the sprawling megacity of Chongqing in China's southwest where the former party secretary Bo Xilai was forced from office last month. An anonymous official confirmed to the Associated Press that Wansheng residents objected to the amalgamation, which they believe will exacerbate the district's economic woes.
By Tuesday night, the protests turned violent as thousands of residents reportedly retaliated against what they perceived as heavy-handed tactics by local police. The clashes continued deep into Wednesday as more residents joined organized efforts to block the highway amid rumors that the government had deployed troops to quash the unrest.
On Thursday morning, the state news agency Xinhua released an article acknowledging a two-day protest but said that "social order had been restored" by Wednesday night. The article also said that Chongqing mayor Huang Qifan had personally rushed to the scene to call on protesters to disperse, while the municipal government had issued a guide which promised smooth economic development and preferential policies to local residents.
The government's mouthpiece added, "No one died in the rally though there were small clashes between the police and protesters. Those who suffered minor injuries in the clashes were all sent to hospital."
Xinhua's statements over the extent of the violence are seemingly contradicted by other media reports and internet photos purportedly posted by locals at the scene. Although the government reportedly blocked search terms such as Wansheng, Qijiang and Chongqing on microblogging sites, this did not stop dozens of photos from being uploaded, showing the streets filled with protestors clashing with swarms of riot police, smoke bombs, overturned police cars, faces streaked with blood and people lying on the ground.
One local internet user said the district was sealed off and said the skies were filled with smoke from burning vehicles and smoke bombs or tear gas. "Some bystanders were watching excitedly but others were clearly frightened," he wrote.
Continue reading - Official reports downplay violence in Chongqing
Source: 重庆万人骚乱 上千武警用催泪弹镇压 解放军出动
重庆万盛 平民 示威游行 被警察乱打 暴力镇压 Violence against civilians