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10,000 citizens Clashes With Police in Eastern China

Posted by Author on June 13, 2010

By Rona Rui, Epoch Times Staff, Jun 13, 2010 –

Massive crowd clashes with police near a market in Maanshan City, Anhui Province. (Courtesy Chinese blogger)

The physical assault and injury of a high school student by a local tourism bureau director in eastern China’s Anhui Province turned into a four-hour street protest .

A crowd of about 10,000 citizens gathered to vent their frustration by yelling and throwing rubbish at police and local officials.

The protest lasted until midnight, with people leaving only when riot police threw tear gas canisters into the crowd. Local media did not report on the massive protest.

The incident in Maanshan City began at 6 p.m. on June 11, when Wang Guoqing, the Huashan District tourism bureau director, was speeding at an intersection in the Huashan District and his car hit a high school student who was crossing the street.

Wang got out of his car and first verbally, then physically assaulted the student. The student ended up with an injury to his eye socket, with blood running down his face.

Onlookers demanded that Wang apologize to the student, but Wang refused and attempted to leave the scene.

Wang then called the police. A few dozen policemen arrived and tried to escort Wang away in a police car. However, the crowd swarmed around the police car in what turned into a two-hour standoff with the police.

At 10 p.m., officials from the Maanshan Municipal Party Committee came to speak to the crowd. They announced that they would “severely punish” Wang for his actions. However, their words had no effect in calming or dispersing people.

Some bystanders told The Epoch Times that the situation was too chaotic for the statement to be heard, while others said they did not believe that Wang would be punished.

At 11:25 p.m., the local authorities sent firefighters to get Wang away from the scene, but they, too, were blocked by the crowd.

Military police and antiriot police were then dispatched to break through the crowd with batons and shields, and many people were injured. Police began throwing tear gas canisters, which finally forced people to disperse at around 11:50 p.m.

A witness told The Epoch Times, “They even sent the firefighting troops. If one didn’t know what was going on, one would have thought there was a fire. Then the riot brigade came, and the [police] car [with Wang in it] took off in less than two minutes.”

Another witness told The Epoch Times, “Many people were here to protect the rights of that boy, and all the crowd could do was just swarm around the police car. When they managed to leave by force, all we could do was pick up the pieces of rubbish, and throw it at them to vent our anger. What else can we do?”

Some people said they saw the police confiscating a reporter’s camera.

Still another person said, “The kid was assaulted at 6 p.m., and we were still yelling when the protest was at its climax at 11 p.m. But in the end, we had to back off quickly, not because we lack perseverance, but because of the tear gas. You can look at my swollen eyes.”

One person posted a message on the Internet: “I charged on when the crowd backed off. My tears flowed down immediately and I smelled a foul and rotting odor. The smoke felt like darkness and helplessness that lingers and won’t fade away.”

Local media only reported that a local district-level cadre had an argument and physically assaulted a passerby, but did not mention that it turned into a mass protest involving 10,000 people.

The Epochtimes

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