John Kennedy at Global Voices provides extensive background on reports earlier today that a 90-year-old woman in the Zhejiang town of Shengzhou threatened police with a homemade gasoline bomb as violent protests erupted over her eviction.
It appears the woman, Zhang Xinghua, is just one of dozens of residents resisting demolition of their building, which online commentators have likened to the celebrated ‘nailhouse’ recently demolished in Chongqing. According to an account published earlier this week on the Paowang BBS forum by a poster calling himself Uncle Everpower, and translated by Kennedy, the residents’ fight with developers started roughly a year ago:
Since June 2, 2006 when the forced eviction from the house began, the twenty-odd home owners have been forced up onto the roof to live; despite the cruel heat, the water has been cut off for over eighty days; many houses’ installations have been destroyed. Further, receiving frequent inexplicable threats and intentional provocation has disrupted their daily lives. [Full Text]
Kennedy reports that several BBS posts on the clashes have been erased from other forums. The story has prompted a lively discussion on Paowang (also translated), with most commentators outraged. One anonymous poster says he witnessed the beating death of an innocent bystander, but others dispute that claim. Global Voices has put up several pictures of the ‘Awesome Building’ (ÁâõÊ•º) with Granny Zhang on top and crowds gathered below.