Thursday, December 08, 2011

Let it snow

Beijing welcomed the first major now of the year. The picture shows a soldier standing still on his post on the Tian'anmen Square.

While many admired his tense and strong posture, for some it is a mere reminder of the People's Library Army's role in the Tian'anmen Square Massacre on June 4th in 1989. The tough soldier is not guarding the people, nor the nation. He is guarding the communist party.

Striking visible is the fire extinguisher, which had been a standard issue for guards of key positions. So many people set themselves to fire to protest the injustice they suffered, and Tian'anmen Square had became a top choice because of the constant media attention it entitles.

There would not be a fire extinguisher ready in places less visible to media scrutiny. As a matter of fact, local officials often order killing or sometimes public execution to 'show an example' to the people. In Zhengzhou of Henan Province, TV aired a video showing officials ordered a bulldozer to run over residents protesting a demolish project (which later showed as illegal). When one resident was run over, the police blocked other residents to save the woman, until her death hours later. In Fuzhou of Jiangxi Province, another illegal demolishing operation sponsored by the local government, Family of Zhong was determined to protect their house with their lives. When the government's bulldozers came, they set themselves on fire. Again the officials on the scene ordered no one should rescue them, and many cameras (some belong to varied government agencies involved, many from other residents living nearby) recorded two people burning, jumping, rolling in pain, until they could not move and how police blocked other residents who tried to come close to help. The 50 years old mother died at the scene. Her 30 years old daughter was badly burned.

In the Fuzhou Zhong family case, one remaining family member was able to get away from police detention (she was charged of obstructing police operation when she tried to put off fire on her mother and sister), and barracked herself in a restroom when the police finally caught up with her in an airport. She was planning to go to Tian'anmen Square to set herself to fire to protest. She was able to send a few micro-blogs (Twits), and thanks to online community, numerous persons acted immediately and probably including some with connections to power, she was promised an investigation from higher-up.

The investigation confirmed the wrongdoings of the local officials. Two commending officers of the Yihuang County, County Party Boss Qiu Jianguo and County Mayor Su Jianguo, were removed from their posts in September 2010 in a high profile manner. The Central Government once again stated no violence should be used in evictions and demolitions.

Last week, Xinhua news reported the two officials were all assigned to new (higher) posts. Qiu Jianguo was promoted to the Director of Development of Fuzhou Prefecture, Su Jianguo was promoted to Director of Public Transportation.

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