China en­vi­ron­men­tal protest vi­o­lence con­demned

Daily Trust - - INTERNATIONAL -

Au­thor­i­ties have con­demned an en­vi­ron­men­tal protest in south­ern China that turned vi­o­lent, call­ing it “se­ri­ous crim­i­nal be­hav­iour”.

Res­i­dents in Maom­ing, Guang­dong prov­ince protested against the con­struc­tion of a petro­chem­i­cal plant that man­u­fac­tures paraxy­lene.

Vi­o­lence broke out, with re­ports of sev­eral in­jured pro­test­ers. On Tues­day, the protests spread to Guangzhou. Protests are rare in China where it is il­le­gal to protest with­out a per­mit.

Hun­dreds of Maom­ing res­i­dents marched on the streets protest­ing against the pro­posed plant. Some pro­test­ers said turnout was more than 1,000.

Clashes with po­lice broke out, with re­ports of tear gas be­ing fired at pro­test­ers. Pho­tos and videos posted on Chi­nese so­cial me­dia ap­peared to show in­jured pro­test­ers, po­lice chas­ing demon­stra­tors with ba­tons, and burn­ing cars.

Smaller protests ap­peared to con­tinue, spread­ing to Guangzhou, the provin­cial cap­i­tal, on Tues­day.

A Maom­ing Daily ar­ti­cle, car­ried on the Maom­ing govern­ment web­site, said: “On [Sun­day] af­ter­noon, a small num­ber of pro­test­ers dis­rupted traf­fic, be­fore grad­u­ally dis­pers­ing.

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