When you live on government land, what’s yours isn’t really, since it can be taken away in a whim. Of course, all land in China technically belongs to the government, so no one, in effect, can claim for him or herself that most basic of Maslow’s needs, shelter. Which is perhaps why the issue of demolition in China is such a tinderbox, ready to explode with cries about fairness, justice, and — forbid — a government’s scope of power.
With that in mind, Hug China relays this recent story from Tianmen, Hubei province:
Chinese Government officials allegedly enforced law violently in Tianmen city, Hubei province in central China, hiring tens of thugs to carry out forced demolition of local villager’ house and beat any trying to prevent them from doing so with bricks and sticks.
One microblogger’s response:
“If you have never met bandits and would like to know how they look like, please rush to watch how the Tianmen city planning bureau officials in Hubei province violently enforced law. There is only something you have not imagined but nothing they dare not do. You can see sticks and clubs were flying, bricks and stones were raining. And cars were smashed, residents were beaten wherever they went.” Chinese Weibo microblogger @杜楠爆料 wrote on June 1, 2013.
It’s all too easily imaginable, alas. We’ve seen it before. Again and again. And we’ll see it again, likely sooner than later, until someone in a position of authority decides that a few extra bucks in an official or real estate mogul’s pockets isn’t worth this social turmoil.