Emeute dans le Guizhou 贵州暴动 février 2009

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德江暴动

A tradition, a dragon dance and then a riot


February 9, 2009

BEIJING: Incidents of social unrest are not uncommon across the Chinese hinterland. Last year, there were an estimated 120,000 strikes, protests or riots, most of them sparked by popular discontent over government corruption, the illegal confiscation of land, or workers agitating for unpaid wages.

But a clash between the police and residents in rural Guizhou Province on Sunday may be the first disturbance inspired by a dragon dance, or at least a thwarted one.

According to officials and residents in Dejiang, at least a dozen people were injured during a riot that began when the police tried to stop the traditional Lunar New Year procession from winding through the city’s narrow streets. At one point, soldiers were called in to quell the disturbances. Three of the injured were police officers, officials said.

The dragon dance, performed by a troupe of costumed volunteers, is believed to bring good luck, prosperity and nourishing rains. It is often a chaotic affair punctuated by clanging cymbals, banging drums and the deafening crackle of firecrackers.

Dejiang’s dragon dances, which draw more than 100,000 people, are so beloved that the provincial government recently designated the festival a « cultural treasure. »

During a telephone conversation made challenging by the endless explosion of firecrackers, Zhang Chunxian, a reporter for Dejiang Daily, said the two-day celebration involves 35 dragons and 300 performers, many of whom set fireworks off over their heads.

But citing numerous injuries that result from the downpour of explosives, Dejiang’s city fathers banned the dragons from the city center this year and designated a ring road on the city’s outskirts as the official staging ground.

Writing on an electronic bulletin board, local residents, however, suggested the ban had more to do with the government’s fixation on social stability than public safety. « The people in Dejiang may view the dragon dance as the hope for a good in life in the New Year, but the county government sees it as a threat to social order, » said one posting.

An employee of the Dejiang Health Department, said by telephone that at least 10 people are injured each year, some of whom, following local tradition, had set off the fireworks on their bodies.

« The government issued the ban in several busy streets to safeguard the people’s security, » said the official, who declined to give his name.

Apparently not everyone complied with the new rules. Ma Bo, 26, a cellphone repairman, said that the troupes simply took to their old haunts on Sunday, and the police responded with force. In the resulting melee, dragon heads were crushed.

Bearing their shattered dragons, the distraught performers marched to Dejiang’s government offices to demand justice. A crowd of 2,000 people followed, and the police met them with truncheons, according to witnesses. The two hours of clashes that followed came to an end after the police used pepper spray to disperse the crowd.

The Dejiang government Web site downplayed the gravity of the unrest, pointing out that nothing had been burned or looted. It also praised local leaders for using text messages and bullhorns to « ensure that the public can enjoy a joyful, peaceful and safe festival. »

The message added one more thing: After convening a meeting, the officials decided to lift the restrictions and allow the processions to return to their old routes on Monday.

Yuan Sun and Huang Yuanxi contributed reporting.

Drought may last until March

China‘s worst drought in five decades may persist into March, Bloomberg News reported from Beijing on Monday, citing the China National Grain and Oils Information Center. About 10.2 million hectares, or 25 million acres, of crops are affected, the center said in a report.

Prime Minister Wen Jiabao met with farmers and officials in Henan Province over the weekend, while Vice Commerce Minister Jiang Zengwei said Monday that the government will try to help farmers offset the drought’s impact by providing medical care, social security and help with finding new jobs.

Angry clashes in Guizhou as New Year festival ends


Tue, 10 Feb 2009.

Clash between police and hundreds of local residents triggered by ban on dragon dance

According to officials and eyewitnesses in Dejiang county, in China’s southwestern Guizhou province, at least a dozen people were injured on Sunday 8 February during a riot that began when the police moved to break-up a traditional Lunar New Year procession, the dragon dance. There are some media reports that soldiers were called in to quell the disturbances. Three of the injured were police officers, according to official media.

« Dozens of dragon dancers, whose rehearsals were stopped Sunday, went to the county government complex and clashed with police and government employees when they tried to perform the dance in protest, » Xinhua reported.

The local government in Dejiang banned the dragon dance in the downtown area over public safety concerns. Some bloggers speculate that the real reason for the ban was fear of an outbreak of unrest, a spectacular miscalculation in that case. Unrest is increasingly common in poor rural areas of China especially as the escape route of jobs in coastal cities is fast collapsing.

The dancers went to the local government headquarters to stage a protest dance over the decision to ban the performance. Clashes ensued when police moved in to break-up the protest action. Officials say crowds of more than 2,000 people were present.

However, the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy quoted local sources saying the incident stirred up crowds of more than 10,000 people, some of whom joined the clashes against police. According to this source at least 50 people were injured, and two police cars and some property at government headquarters was smashed

Eight injured in SW China Dragon Dance rows


http://imgs.xinhuanet.com/icon/2007english/logo.jpg

2009-02-09

DEJIANG, Guizhou, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) — Police in Dejiang County, southwest China‘s Guizhou Province, said Monday that three police officers and five civilians were injured during a protest against government restrictions of the traditional dragon dance.

The local public security bureau had previously put the number of injured civilians at « more than ten. »

Bureau chief Wei Huasong explained « 11 civilians asked for medical examination Sunday night and they were all regarded injured at that time. Now we have confirmed only five of them were injured in the incident. »

Dejiang County party chief Yang Pin told Xinhua the local government had banned the dragon dance in the downtown area for safety concerns as a main road was undergoing renovation. Dancers were only allowed to perform in the suburbs.

The local government has since called off the restriction. Dragon dances were performed and firecrackers were heard all over downtown on Monday.

Dozens of dragon dancers, whose rehearsals were stopped Sunday, went to the county government complex and clashed with police and government employees when they tried to perform the dance in protest, said officials of the local public security bureau.

A crowd of more than 2,000 people were drawn to the scene. The protest turned violent when police tried to stop the dance. Three police officers and five civilians were injured. A cross-country vehicle, a government office sign board, the complex’s gate and several « dragons » were damaged.

Three people were in the hospital as of Monday morning.

The dragon dance is an important tradition in Dejiang during the celebration of the Lantern Festival, which falls on Monday and marks the end of the Spring Festival holidays

China dragon dancers riot: police

BEIJING (AFP) — At least three police officers and 10 civilians were hurt in China in a riot sparked by dozens of traditional dragon dancers angered over being banned from performing, police and state media said Monday.

The disturbance occurred Sunday in rural Guizhou province in southwestern China after police banned the dance, part of traditional Lunar New Year celebrations, out of safety concerns, Xinhua news agency said.

The dancers then went to the local government headquarters in Dejiang county to stage a protest dance but were stopped by police. Clashes ensued that drew in crowds of more than 2,000 people, it said.

However, the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy quoted local sources saying the incident stirred up crowds of more than 10,000 people, some of whom joined the clashes against police.

The centre, which regularly issues reports on social disturbances in China, said at least 50 people were injured, and that two police cars and some property at government headquarters was smashed.

An official with Dejiang’s Public Security Bureau reached by phone said the crowd numbered in the hundreds and that « some » policemen were injured, declining to give a figure.

« For public security, the dragon dance is forbidden in some areas this year. So the dragon dancers went to the county government asking for an explanation, » said the official, who refused to give his name.

He added that dragon dancers in Dejiang traditionally wear fireworks on their costumes and consume alcohol, creating a risk to themselves and the public.

China sees thousands of cases of violent social unrest each year, typically as people lash out over illegal seizures of their land, environmental degradation, corruption or perceived police and government abuses.

中國元宵怕舞龍 貴州德江引暴動

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February 9,2009

(09)28下午,中國貴州德江縣政府公安警察,阻擋當地民俗舞龍隊伍進入主城區,引發上萬名群眾包圍當地政府示威,並引發警民衝突。抗議群眾質疑為何不許舞龍,並砸毀當地政府國徽、銜牌與車輛,當地警方則是以催淚彈驅趕抗議群眾。根據大紀元報導指出,「由於年前政府的強制搬遷制度和其他的利益處理不公令老百姓早有情緒,這次警察的公然挑釁引發民眾與政府強烈的社會衝突。」;然而,該國官方喉舌新華社報導則是輕描淡寫,表示事態已經平息。倒是中國網民的回應相當有趣,有人說「舞龍燈都怕,簡直是草木皆兵。」、也有暗示「禁止舞龍燈→群眾圍攻→同意舞龍燈。」、更有提及「貴州赤貧地方,越窮越折騰,去年的甕安,今年的德江,折射出一種怪異心態。」中國官方歷來挑弄民族情緒時皆告知人民以龍的傳人」自詡,然而卻怕人民藉元宵舞龍生事,這算不算是21世紀版的「葉公好龍」呢?什麼都怕,連元宵舞龍的民俗活動也視若寇讎,然後經過人民抗議示威之後,這些限制與禁制事項突然又可以了,實在是「賊怕惡人」,爆笑到破錶!中國人民都深諳對該國領導絕對不能客氣,再與馬苦政府對陳匪雲林去年來台時的屈膝奉承嘴臉相對照,馬苦還真是「一路囧來,始終是囧

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~ par Alain Bertho sur 13 février 2009.

 
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