Shanghai Residents Protest Controversial Maglev Project on Jan.6.

The news of Jan. 6 protests in Shanghai travels fast in Chinese cyberspace, even if the subject has now been banned by Internet police. It is hard not to notice similarities between this event and the Xiamen PX demonstrations in June 2007: both are inspired by the potential environmental danger of a large project, and both are self-organized actions taking the form of “collectively taking a walk (集体散步).” The only Chinese media that reported this incident is the Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis Daily. Here are some more video and photos from the Jan.6 event:

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Also from Reuters:

Police broke up a demonstration against a planned extension of Shanghai’s high-speed “maglev” train line on Sunday, pushing and dragging dozens of protesters off one of the city’s most crowded shopping streets.

Officers cordoned off part of Nanjing Road as they prevented a repeat of Saturday’s demonstration there by hundreds of people, Shanghai’s largest public protest since thousands took part in sometimes violent anti-Japanese demonstrations in 2005.

Uniformed and plainclothes police chased and struggled with some of the protesters, shouting at a Reuters reporter on the scene not to talk to Chinese bystanders.

Earlier, chanting white and blue collar workers, many with homes next to the planned route of the magnetic levitation train, assembled to demand that city authorities reconsider the project because it could damage residents’ health.

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January 13, 2008 8:21 AM
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Categories: Society