10 Arrested in China Pollution Protest – Christopher Bodeen

AP reports on the latest protest by villagers angered by :

Police in southern China arrested 10 farmers embroiled in a dispute with a paper mill over pollution they say is killing their crops and fouling their water sources, villagers and media reports said Friday…

The dispute reflects a common complaint in China: Industries move into areas where land is cheap, then release untreated, heavily polluted wastewater and fumes into the countryside.

With local governments unwilling to step in and often acting in collusion with factory owners who bring welcome tax revenues, farmers frequently seek outside help or mount their own, often violent protests aimed at shutting down the offenders.

Botang residents had used only legal channels to reach a settlement, however, repeatedly petitioning officials at the county and regional governments in the six years since the mill opened, according to villagers and the Boxun.com news Web site, which frequently reports on sensitive issues from outside China. [Full text]

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