Middle class not suffering silently in China – Evan Osnos

From the Chicago Tribune, via centredaily.com:

The residents of Golden Lands, Life Gallery Townhouse and New Health Gardens left the heart of Beijing in search of just what their high-priced new addresses suggested: space, class and clean living.

But it wasn’t long before people began noticing a sharp metallic odor in the wind, which scratched their throats and stirred complaints at the tennis courts and private schools where they chatted. The people settled on a common culprit – a cluster of factories on the edge of their gated communities – and they began to protest.

It was the birth of an improbable movement led by white-collar protesters, unlike the peasants and factory workers who routinely rise up against the side effects of China’s economic growth. In raising their voices, these middle-class campaigners in the Beijing neighborhood of Yizhuang and others like them are seeking to shape the very economic development that created the new , and they are broadening the base of China’s simmering .

November 30, 2005 11:04 AM
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Categories: Environment, Society