UPDATE, 6/4, 12:13 pm: One of the men in the above video tells us about the incident after the jump.
We’ve reached out to the guys who shot the video – Canadians from WorldstarHipHop, as they make abundantly clear in the video — to see if we can get more info. It’s a nasty fight, if one can call it that, with a clear survivor. There are no winners.
“Someone pull him off,” someone says while the guy who’s standing, bloody all over, continues connecting on kicks to the defenseless man on the ground.
“It’s done, it’s done, you’ve won, you’ve won,” someone else says, beginning to sound desperate.
“Someone pull him off, guys, seriously,” one of the people behind the camera implores.
“No, who’s going to pull him off, he’s going to fucking attack you.”
The very last thing we hear in the video is: “Let’s get the fuck out of here, man, honestly. This is enough, bro.”
In the spring of 2008, I was sitting on the balcony of the bar Nanjie with a friend when we watched as two factions converged from opposite sides for a brawl; later, walking out of the area at dawn, we passed people carrying studded mallets heading the opposite direction. This was my first Sanlitun experience that year.
A few weeks later, friends and I were drinking outside in an alley near the bar Smugglers when an Algerian and another foreigner went mano-a-mano. This would be Sanlitun Experience No. 2. The Algerian threw his opponent onto a table, which I remember collapsing under his weight. Bloodied and reeling — drunk, probably — the manhandled foreigner picked himself up, grabbed a big beer bottle, and tapped it against the wall. We were confused by his tapping; it defused the situation, actually, but afterwards we thought on it: had he tried harder, or had the bottle hit at just the right angle, the man would have suddenly found a sharp weapon in his hand, and lord knows what drunk combatants, already injured, can do with makeshift knives.
In the years since — beginning a year or two ago — Sanlitun’s gentrification, spurred by the commercial developments around the “Village,” an upscale network of bars, restaurants and shops, began encroaching on the dingier bar streets and alleys. Several bars — shady ones, if I may say so, with names like Kai, Butterfly, and Shooters — in the Smugglers alley shuttered their doors, as that side is slated for renovation and eventual incorporation into a nearby middle/high school’s campus. Yet no matter what the changes, no matter how many bars in the area are given the Beijinger’s Bar of the Year award (two in the last two years), Sanlitun remains, at heart, the Sanlitun I first encountered in 2008, a recidivist’s lair that continues to attract society’s residuum after the rest of us have grown up or gone clean. For an example, look no further than the embedded video, which first appeared on
YouTube four days ago WorldstarHipHop’s website on May 23, taken about forty meters from the beginning of the Smugglers alley.
If we hear anything more about this, we’ll update you here.