Mencius in Zhushan Village – Sam Crane
From The Useless Tree blog:
Frustrations boiled over in Zhushan village in Hunan province a few days ago, as people trying to take the bus to Lingling town were confronted with price gouging. Roland has the links, and pictures!
People are still traveling for the Chinese New Year holiday. Demand for public transport is high; so the owner of the local bus company, who seems to have some sort of monopoly rights on this particular route, tried to take advantage of the situation. Here’s an excerpt from a Boxun story (translation by Roland):
During the spring travel season, the Anda Transport Company which manages the bus line between Zhushan town and Lingling raised the ticket price from 6 RMB to 10-15 RMB. At around 10am on March 9, 2007, a large group of people gathered at the bus station to demand the ticket price be lowered.
The boss of Anda Transport Company arrived at the scene in the company of a carload of people who were ready to threaten the people. But they were prevented from doing so. The boss then announced to the assembly: he was going to take his buses away, which stirred the crowd to stronger dissastisfaction. The crowd then overturned four of the buses belonging to the Anda Transport Company. The event had escalated.
On March 10, the ticket price had not come down. The bus company boss came with dozens of unidentified men to intimidate the crowd, who became more incensed. At around 2pm, about 10,000 people were assembled and some of them set one of the Anda buses at the station on fire. At the time, the bus company boss said: “I’ll offer 20 million RMB to raze Zhushan town to the ground.” This really made the people at the scene very, very angry. More and more people showed up and things got worse. The fire department came to put out the fire.
Eventually, riot police were called in, people were beaten, and one person was reportedly killed. [Full Text]