Less than an hour after posting about the upheaval in Zuotan, Foshan, Guangdong province, I realized there was a bigger, concurrent riot in the province, in Zhongshan City. According to NetEase via the website Democracy and Law Network, the fight started Monday around 6 pm when, in front of a primary school, a 13-year-old got beat up by a 15-year-old. Two locals intervened by tying up one of the kids, as if that would help. Factions from the provinces of Sichuan and Guangdong eventually began brawling, and the violence escalated from there, resulting in multiple injuries.
There is some discrepancy between that account and one on South China Morning Post, which reports, “The exact cause of the riot was unclear, but a statement issued yesterday by the Zhongshan city government said security personnel at Longshan village, under the jurisdiction of Shaxi, restrained a 13-year-old boy from Chongqing by tying him up after he beat up a local primary school pupil in the town.”
It’d be great if you could read the SCMP article, but it’s behind a paywall, so I’ll excerpt:
The Zhongshan government statement said that about 30 emotional relatives of the Chongqing teenager had gathered outside the Longshan village offices on Monday evening, and that the number of people rose to about 300 by 10.30pm. The crowd began to clash with police, with some people throwing rocks and bricks.
The Hong Kong-based information centre said: “Several thousand Sichuan people were engaged in a bloody clash with police.”
Some microblog posts said there were at least 1,000 people in the stand-off and that it featured hundreds of police.
Rioters are wrecking every motor vehicle they see, stopping moving cars in order to batter them. Police cars, privately owned cars and bus stops have all been destroyed. A number of shops have been broken into as well. The Zhongshan Fuhua Station was set on fire and burned for close to 24 hours. The Shaxi town hall has also been ruined.
At first the rioters allowed ambulances in to bring food and water to armed police and others. After 5 p.m. no cars were allowed in and protesters began overturning cars. At least five ambulances have been torn apart.
It is reported that several protesters have died and over 100 have been injured, mostly workers. More than 100 people hve been arrested.
The Sichuan Public Security Head has dispatched a group of six to Zhongshan to help manage the situation.
The latest news is that armed police from Guangzhou, Zhuhai and Foshan have been sent to Shaxi to clear the streets on the morning of June 27. The People’s Liberation Army is also at the ready to “suppress the rebellion” at any time.
Images have been proliferating on Sina Weibo and other sources. Meanwhile, The Nanfang has translated a few netizen reactions: “Sina Weibo user Lee Hong Wei expressed support for the police and the government. Jason Zhangzhengyuan urged police to get the Sichuan ‘dogs’ out of their territory. Another urged the government to be careful about dealing with social unrest. Another called for an end to discrimination against Sichuanese migrants.”
And finally, here are two videos, the first from Sina (embedded above on YouTube), the second from Tudou.
The above video on YouTube: