Residents in the southern region of China protested for a second straight day Sunday, September 13th, against a proposed garbage incinerator. According to witnesses, police said that the ringleaders of earlier demonstrations should surrender.
But the government of Boluo County in the Pearl River Delta said in a statement that the final location for the incinerator has not yet been decided. Citizens can go through normal channels to offer opinions and suggestions in a reasonable manner,” the statement said. “Don’t believe rumors, don’t spread rumors,” it urged.
Online videos continued to be posted showing thousands of people at the center of Boluo protesting by carrying banners and blocking traffic. This protest is just the latest event to highlight the fact that Chinese citizens have started to become more wary of environmental hazards. Unfortunately, these citizens still don’t have enough of a public forum to affect government’s decision process; all they can do is try and raise awareness.
Police detained two-dozen people for suspicion of legal violations during the protests on Saturday alone. China has seen a huge surge in NIMBY (“not in my backyard”) protests lately, with a growing middle class worried about the affects of public health and property values from industrial development.
Of the dozens arrested, the statement posed on the Boluo public security bureau’s microblog Sunday evening said three people were under criminal detention. Three others were given administrative punishment with days of detention for disturbing public order. The rest were released after “being educated,” according to the statement.
Earlier police statements said a “handful of people with ulterior motives ignored laws to organize ordinary people who do not know the truth to illegally gather and demonstrate on the street, seriously affecting traffic and social order.”