Thanks to Yawei Liu for sending the following information:
Collective protest takes place in China regularly but this anti-pollution riot in Dongyang City, Zhejiang Province, is rare and significant in many aspects.
First, the incident signifies sharpened rights awareness among ordinary citizens and their willingness to use more confrontational tactics when conventional means of seeking justice are ignored or ineffective.
Second, it highlights the deepening of ties between government officials and local businesses that has worsened corruption in China.
Third, the unwillingness of the government to use force when being confronted is remarkable in this case as government officials probably understand if innocent citizens were killed this incident could easily spread to the entire region and careen out of control.
Fourth, the government effort to manufacture consent and fabricate excuses has risen to a higher level and the cooperation between local media and national media seems to become tighter at the expense of Chinese citizens’ right to be informed.
Fifth, the role of the Internet is becoming increasingly important in disseminating information and no filtering or blocking can stop it from functioning.
Lastly, even at a time where there is little information on the Dongyang incident at all major Chinese language news web sites our web site has become the portal inside China for people to read different versions of the incident, to issue angry condemnation of local government officials, and to write perceptive comments on the consequences of the confrontation.
To see our preliminary report on the Dongyang riot, please go to here.
Our Chinese coverage of the riot is the most complete. To check these articles out (the most valuable parts of the coverage are the comments leaft at our web sites by the media people, government officials, people who call Dongyang their hometown and other cocnerned citizens of China) please go to www.chinaelections.org. Click the title of any article on the front page and you will see on the right bottom corner “the most read articles” box. Just about all articles in the box now are on the Dongyang riot after we were told to remove all articles on anti-Japanese demonstration last night.