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China Cracks Down on Earthquake Protest, 100 Grieving Parents Dragged Away

Posted by Author on June 3, 2008

Tania Branigan in Beijing,, Tuesday June 3 2008-

Chinese police dragged away more than 100 parents as they protested today over the deaths of their children in schools which collapsed in the Sichuan earthquake.

Officers in Dujiangyan bundled away sobbing mothers clutching pictures of their sons and daughters, according to the Japanese news agency in Kyodo.

The Associated Press said the parents were kneeling in front of the courthouse yelling “We want to sue”, when police began to pull them down the street. Their children were among the 270 students who died at Juyuan school.

As many as 9,000 pupils and teachers died in schools destroyed in the disaster, according to figures compiled by Reuters. The government’s promise to investigate whether substandard building linked to corruption was to blame has yet to allay families’ outrage and wider public concern.

The incident is thought to be the first sustained attempt to halt or disrupt widespread demonstrations by families angry at their children’s deaths. At least one other protest appears to have taken place in Sichuan today – although at the ruins of a school, rather than the more prominent location chosen by the Juyuan parents.

A senior Chinese leader, Li Changchun, was touring other parts of Dujiangyan today.

The local police did not answer calls and the information department twice refused to take calls from the Guardian.

An official from the local government, Zao Ming, told AP: “This is not a good place to do interviews. … In a disaster like this, there will be a lot of opinions. The government will solve their problems.”

AP said its reporter and two photographers covering the protest were dragged into the courthouse by police trying to prevent them from seeing the demonstration. They were held inside, along with two Japanese reporters, and questioned for half an hour before they were permitted to leave.

A witness quoted by AP said police told parents: “The Japanese are reporting bad things about you.” …… (more details from The Guardian: Chinese police break up protest of grieving parents)

One Response to “China Cracks Down on Earthquake Protest, 100 Grieving Parents Dragged Away”

  1. […] Greiving parents in China and Russia were both made into parents for greiving, probably the most cruel thing outside of […]

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