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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

China's Outrage Continued...

Friday morning at around 11:30, Marcie grabbed this story from the news wires. What's really and truly irritating about this is that none of the MSM sources grabbed this story. It's only one of the most important stories of the week; hell, probably one of the most important stories of the month so far. It trumps the Dean/Kerry stupidity and Mehlman's retaliatory strike. This comes from Yahoo News just 51 minutes ago.

BEIJING - Armed with guns and shields, hundreds of riot police sealed off a southern Chinese village after fatally shooting as many as 20 demonstrators and were searching for the protest organizers, according to villagers and a newspaper report Saturday.

If that death toll is confirmed it would be the deadliest known use of force by security forces against Chinese civilians since the killings around Tiananmen Square in 1989, and marked an escalation in the social protests that have convulsed the Chinese countryside.

During the demonstration Tuesday in Dongzhou, a village in southern Guangdong province, thousands of people gathered to protest the amount of money offered by the government as compensation for land to be used to construct a wind power plant.

Police fired into the crowd and killed a handful of people, mostly men, villagers reached by telephone said Friday. Villagers' accounts of the death toll ranged from two and 10, with many missing.

On Saturday, Hong Kong's Apple Daily newspaper raised the death toll to nearly 20, citing villagers. There was no explanation for the discrepancy.

Although security forces often use tear gas and truncheons to disperse demonstrators, it is extremely rare for them to fire into a crowd — as the military did in putting down pro-democracy demonstrations around Tiananmen Square, when hundreds, if not thousands, were killed.

State media have made no mention of the incident and both provincial and local governments have repeatedly refused to comment. This is typical in China, where the ruling Communist Party controls the media and lower-level authorities are leery of releasing information without permission from the central government.

All the villagers said they were nervous and scared and most did not want to be identified for fear of retribution. One man said the situation was still "tumultuous."

A 14-year-old girl said a local official visited the village on Friday and called the shootings "a misunderstanding."

"He said (he) hoped it wouldn't become a big issue," the girl said over the telephone. "This is not a misunderstanding. I am afraid. I haven't been to school in days."

She added, "Come save us."

Another villager said there were at least 10 deaths.

"The riot police are gathered outside our village. We've been surrounded," she said, sobbing. "Most of the police are armed. We dare not to go out of our home."

"We are not allowed to buy food outside the village. They asked the nearby villagers not to sell us goods," the woman said. "The government did not give us proper compensation for using our land to build the development zone and plants. Now they come and shoot us. I don't know what to say."

One woman said an additional 20 people were wounded.

"They gathered because their land was taken away and they were not given compensation," she said. "The police thought they wanted to make trouble and started shooting."

She said there were "several hundred police with guns in the roads outside the village on Friday. "I'm afraid of dying. People have already died."

Hong Kong's English language South China Morning Post newspaper on Saturday quoted villagers who said authorities were trying to conceal the deaths by offering families money to give up bodies of the dead.

"They offered us a sum but said we would have to give up the body," an unidentified relative of one slain villager, 31-year-old Wei Jin, was quoted as saying. "We are not going to agree."

Police were carrying photos of villagers and trying to find people linked to the protest, the newspaper said, citing villagers.

Hong Kong reverted to Chinese control in 1997, but within its context as a "Special Administrative Region," the former British colony maintains a high degree of press freedom. Its proximity to Dongzhou gives local reporters an advantage in covering the story.

The number of protests in China's vast, poverty-stricken countryside has risen in recent months as anger comes to a head over corruption, land seizures and a yawning wealth gap that experts say now threatens social stability. The government says about 70,000 such conflicts occurred last year, although many more are believed to go unreported.

"These reports of protesters being shot dead are chilling," Catherine Baber, deputy Asia director at Amnesty International, said in a statement. "The increasing number of such disputes over land use across rural China, and the use of force to resolve them, suggest an urgent need for the Chinese authorities to focus on developing effective channels for dispute resolution."

Amnesty spokeswoman Saria Rees-Roberts said Friday in London that although she did not want to compare Tuesday's clashes with Tiananmen Square, "police shooting people dead is unusual in China and it does demand an independent investigation."

Like many cities in China, Shanwei, the city where Dongzhou is located, has cleared suburban land once used for farming to build industrial zones. State media have said the Shanwei Red Bay industrial zone is slated to have three electricity-generating plants — a coal-fired plant, a wave power plant and a wind farm.

Shanwei already has a large wind farm on an offshore island, with 25 turbines. Another 24 are set for construction.
Earlier reports said the building of the $743 million coal-fired power plant, a major government-invested project for the province, also was disrupted by a dispute over land compensation.

Authorities in Dongzhou were trying to find the leaders of Tuesday's demonstration, a villager said.

The man said the bodies of some of the shooting victims "are just lying there."

"Why did they shoot our villagers?" he asked. "They are crazy!"

This is absolutely outrageous. Amnesty Internatioonal wants to launch an investigation? Please. I think it's time the world spoke up, as a whole, and publicly condemned this act of barbarism. If I were the president, I'd even consider some sanctions against them for this unwarranted attack on an unarmed civilian populace. There was no conscience behind this act; it was done, obviously, with premeditation.

And where was our media on this important story. For crying out loud, I remember the media being all over Tianamen Square in 1989. I remember seeing the one lone protester blocking the way of a Chinese tank, and standing up to an entire bloodthirsty, Communist regime. Not one whiff of these on any of the cable networks (save FOX), and barely a peep in the print media (a search just moments ago yielded only a story on the Washinton Times site). I guess they were too busy making up the news for the six o'clock newscasts, or maybe "Perky" Katie Couric's talking points for Monday. I did find the blurbs on the New York Times and Reuters, but they seem a bit confused as to where this actually took place.

And I'm interested to see the reaction of the IOC. Marcie reminded everyone this morning that Beijing has the Olympic Games in 2008. A lot of scrutiny was placed on Beijing to prove that their human rights abusing was int he past. They obviously put on a good face because they won the games. Yesterday, they murdered at least twenty unarmed people, if not more. What will the IOC do? This is beyond reprehensible. It's sickening. These people were protesting the piddly amount of money being offered to use their land to build a wind power plant, and this is how the government reacted.

Can anyone imagine if our own government tried a stunt like this? I can tell you that the 100 million-plus gun owners in this nation would have a few words for Uncle Sam if they ever tried to deal with protesters this way. That is, of course, if they were firing on unarmed protesters. There's a difference between firing indiscriminantly into a crowd of people, and returning fire in self-defense. That was not the case in China. Police opened fire on unarmed civilians.

I'm disappointed in the media for not bringing this to the public's attention, but then again, we bloggers were on top of it.

Glenn Reynolds from InstaPundit posted on it.http://instapundit.com/archives/027372.php

Charles Johnson from Little Green Footballs posted on it.http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=18535_Massacre_in_China&only

Hugh Hewitt posted on it. http://hughhewitt.com/archives/2005/12/04-week/index.php#a000729

Gateway Pundit has more on it.http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2005/12/china-opens-fire-kills-20-protesters.html

Pajamas Media snatched it up, too. http://news.pajamasmedia.com/world/2005/12/09/6629440_China_Town_Seale.shtml

And, Blogs for Industry grabbed it too, only they're getting info from Radio Free Asiam and from the Hong Kong news services. http://dimer.tamu.edu/simplog/?blogid=3

PowerLineNews has a link to the Chinese-run media, whi is spinning this as a "drug trafficking" issue, and according to them, "no fatalities were reported." (Funny that, as the Chinese government is paying people for the bodies so they will keep it quiet.)http://www.powerlineblognews.com/

So, again I ask, where was the media. Do they not think that this story is important enough to cover? I would consider this pretty important seeing as how the president just came back to the States from China over a week ago!

But, I guess if it doesn't fit into their biased, partisan coverage, it doesn't really matter. So be it. Keep nailing that coffin shut, guys, and tomorrow will be too late to complain that your out of a job.

Publius II


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our Libertarian newspaper did print the story on the front page of it International news. I'm reminded our government did do something similar with the Supreme Court's Kelo decision. And our government will use force to physically take property. I've said many times, that individual private ownership is the foundation of all of our rights and that right is diluted with the Kelo decision. As I understand the dispute, it's over how much should the government pay for the taking of the property? Sure sounds familiar. For us to condemn the Chinese Communist government, we better make sure our glass house is clean and it's not. Remember, Chairman Mao's The Little Red Book is a best seller in this country. Rawriter

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Jim Hu said...

Found you via Pajamas...which hasn't linked me on this :( ...thanks for the link. Several followup posts are on my blog, fwiw.

12:36 PM  

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