Police Fire on Protesting Farmers in Yunnan
In the wake of Tibetan unrest, farmers from the Miao (or Hmong) ethnic minority group clashed with riot police over land they claim was illegally seized by a mining company leaving two dead, according to China Worker International.
The protesters were trying to block construction of a tungsten mine by China’s second largest gold mining company, Zijin, on land forcibly seized from villagers without agreed levels of compensation. Such illegal land grabs are the most common cause of rural unrest in China today. According to the Ministry of Land and Resources in Beijing there were 31,700 cases of illegal land seizures in the four-month period to 15 January, totaling 554,000 acres, and this despite a central government ’crackdown’ on the practise.
These protests reflect a rise in social upheavals throughout China.
These events – mass protests across several provinces – tell us a lot about the real situation in China three months before the Olympics. The Beijing regime is terrified of a growing revolt from below, from minorities like the Tibetans, Li, Miao and Uyghur Muslims, from landless farmers, and especially from the industrial working class.