This video is a month old, but I’m posting it anyway because it’s just so rich. Watch as a bunch of goons ransack street vendors just because they can – because they’re “chengguan,” China’s street-level thugs in uniforms who are officially known as “urban management officers.” Paraphrasing something I wrote earlier on this site, you create a thug when you put a uniform on a bully, and that’s what these people are.
Now, I’m not saying all street enforcement officers are terrible at their job. Surely sometimes they’re necessary, like to tell people not to park on the street. (I’ve never seen a chengguan actually do this, by the way, but I’m sure they would if the driver was some poor street vendor who makes 15 dollars a day.) It’s just that it’s so easy to find instances of chengguan behaving badly that one wonders whether something isn’t wrong with the system rather than the individuals. Specifically, a system which dresses up bullies and tells them to wreck havoc on some of the most defenseless (and perhaps among the hardest workers) of our society.
Watch the above if you don’t mind a little blood-pressure spike. Youku video for those in China after the jump.