From Washington Post:
For months, the Communist Party had been able to deflect anger about factory closings toward the companies themselves. The party managed to come off as the benevolent savior by handing out cash to make up for unpaid salaries. The strategy stopped working at the Jianrong Suitcase Factory in late December.
When offered 60 percent of their wages to disband their protest and go home, the workers pushed back at riot police sent to keep them locked in their factory compound in the southern Chinese city of Dongguan. According to several witnesses, more than 100 irate workers broke through the cordon, some shouting, “There are no human rights here!”
As a global recession takes hold and China’s economy continues to slow, growing legions of unemployed workers are becoming increasingly bold in expressing their unhappiness — expanding a debate over how to protect the Chinese economy into long-fought disputes over other issues such as freedom of expression and equality before the law.