Nanjing Students Protest after Reported Clash between Police and Student Vendors

One day after an alleged violent confrontation between security guards and Nanjing students sparked by police brutality, reports of thousands of students protesting in the streets of Nanjing are appearing on the Chinese Internet.  From The Australian:

Thousands of students are reported to have protested in the streets of Nanjing, in central eastern China – one of the centres of protests in 1989 – following an incident on Monday night in which government security guards enforcing restrictions on peddlers allegedly attacked classmates who had set up footpath stalls.

A bloody clash between thousands of students and riot police reportedly ensued, continuing into Tuesday morning. At least 30 students were injured, and a police car was smashed.

The incident this week went unreported in national media, although accounts of it, accompanied by photos, were posted on websites and blogs.

[…]Signs carried by students carried slogans in English and Chinese, including “non-violence and noncooperation” and “help vulnerable social groups and co-construct a harmonious society,” using a favourite phrase of communist propaganda.

The South China Morning Post (subscription required) has details of the Monday night violence.  From the China Economic Review:

According to the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy, five student vendors with the Nanjing University of Aeronautics were beaten by officers as they tried to remove them from the campus on Monday evening. Students demonstrators then marched from the campus, blocking main roads at the university’s north entrance. Protestors clashed with riot police and smashed a police car after three students were arrested by police.

Chinese officials deny any clash between students and police on Monday night.  They also deny that the thousand or so people in the streets on Tuesday were protesting students.  From Xinhua:

A senior official at an east China university Thursday denied foreign media reports that students clashed with local police on Monday night.

Chen Xiachu, deputy Communist Party chief of the Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (NUAA), told Xinhua the conflict involved city management personnel and sidewalk peddlers near the campus.

“Up to 1,000 people were watching, including about 100 of our students,” he said. “The street was then blocked and traffic was at standstill.”

May 21, 2009 12:45 PM
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Categories: Human Rights, Law, Society