Nankai Mass Incident: Of a Bike and a Buick

crowd.jpgHundreds of enraged students at ’s Nankai University recently battered the bejesus out of a black Buick sedan in an incident that suggests the oft-noted imperiousness of China’s new moneyed class is not just aggravating to those on the lowest rungs of the country’s economic ladder. According to a post on one of Nankai’s BBS forums (translated by ESWN), the ruckus started on Christmas Eve, when the car collided with a student on a bike, leaving a small scratch on the side of the car:

At that , the female car owner got out of the vehicle angrily and demanded an apology from the student. Furthermore, an apology was not good enough because there had to be payment for damages. So the student called her teacher for assistance. By this time, many students had gathered around the scene and one of them asked the car owner: “Where do you come from? Why are you on our school campus?”

The woman said something that was provocative: “If I produce my identification document, you should be scared to death.” [Full Text]

That comment was apparently enough to set off a round of shoving between students and the driver’s brothers. This in turn led to the alleged beating of a male student and, eventually, to the turning over and violent dismemberment of the sedan.

Police, teachers and school security officers were apparently powerless to stop the mob, which continued trashing the vehicle until around midnight, when a school official arrived to assure them traffic conditions on campus would be improved and no students would be punished for the incident. Upon hearing this, several students are said to have mounted the car and led their fellows in singing school songs.

Bob Chen at Global Voices has a more fulsome summary of the incident here, with a promise of more to come.

[Image by FlyingMonkey via Global Voices]

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