Migrant Workers Riot in Guangdong

More details are coming in about the riots in Shaxi, Guangdong, which were reportedly sparked when a fight broke out between a 15-year-old migrant from Sichuan and a local primary school student. When police intervened and beat the migrant, his family and fellow migrants gathered and began to riot, according to a report in the Guardian, quoting an article from Global Times:

About 30 people were injured and the rioters – mostly from Sichuan province in the south-west – smashed and overturned at least two public security vehicles, the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said.

“Right now, there are a few migrants around but mostly as spectators,” the Shaxi spokeswoman told Reuters.

“The protest has essentially been dispersed. There are a few police vehicles left, and some spectators are still around observing.”

BBC has further details on the situation:

Police tied the boy up to restrain him and he also suffered injuries on his face, the statement added.

Family members and friends of the youth gathered outside the offices of local authorities and numbers swelled to about 300 on Monday night. Clashes began after people began throwing rocks, the police statement said.

Official statements said the situation was resolved swiftly and effectively, and rioting crowds were dispersed.

Photos of the riots have been distributed via weibo and other social media, including several posted yesterday by CDT. On Twitter, @YaxueCao has retweeted and translated posts by blogger Wen Yunchao updating the situation, including a graphic photo of an injured woman, posted as evidence that police opened fire:

While news about the incident has managed to leak via Twitter and weibo, authorities are clamping down on online reports, and videos of the incident have been erased from major websites. Several search terms related to the riots have been scrubbed from Sina Weibo.

Yesterday, elsewhere in Guangdong, riot police clashed with villagers angered over the government sale of their land. Read about more recent riots in China, and about migrant workers, via CDT.


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