Blocage et émeute à Fujin富锦 dans le Heilongjiang 黑龙江 – mai 2010

Chinese Farmers Lie on Railroad Tracks to Protest Land Grab

: May 26, 2010

Four hundred desperate Chinese farmers resorted to lying on railroad tracks to protest government land grabs.

Farmers from Changchunling Village near Fujin City, in China’s northeastern Heilongjiang province, lay on a stretch of railway for nine and a half hours on April 29. They were protesting the seizure of over 9,884 acres of land by city authorities for state projects.

Dozens of tractors were also used to block a major highway. Armed police arrived at the scene and dispersed the protesters with tear gas. A dozen farmers suffered injuries, with two badly hurt. Local people estimated that over 2,000 armed anti riot police were dispatched to Fujin City. Central Avenue and Oriental Plaza were held under tight control by armed police.

One local person told Sound of Hope, “There are traffic police, regular police and police vehicles patrolling the streets every day. We don’t know if they carry guns, but there are many of them.”

The head of Changchunling Village said that the farmers began blocking the railroads on April 29. They managed to stop the number 4133 train which ran from Jiamusi City to Qianjin Township at 3:11 p.m.

He said, “It’s been blocked for nine and a half hours. There were over 400 villagers and the police threw tear gas at the crowd. About ten farmers were injured. Two of them were severely injured and hospitalized. They had injuries all over their bodies. Some police were injured as well, but we don’t know how many.”

About the land grab, he said that the city authorities had seized over 9,884 acres of land for state projects, and for the next 14 years the original owners of the land will only have the right to lease the land from the new owners.

Farmers currently own only 3,212 acres of land, and the rest ‘belongs’ to the Fujin City Agricultural Development Company. Farmers can lease the land on an annual basis. In other words, they’re forced to lease their own land, and the company has become their landlord.

In 2007, an official of the Fujin Land Resources Department said that the municipal government had illegally seized the 9,884 acres of land which the Changchunlian villagers demanded back. Despite this, authorities refused to return the land to the farmers. The protest is a result of this dispute.

“Officials from the provincial level and our own city came over. We told them that they must give the land back to us, as that’s what we want. We did not mention money. What we want is land, not money,” the village head said.

Forced relocations for the purpose of infrastructure or luxury developments are common in China and have become a source of festering unrest, especially because of the inadequate compensation generally given to the landowners.

To prepare for the World Expo, the Shanghai government displaced 18,000 families and 270 factories. Many residents who lived near the Huangpu River were forced to relocate and given minimal compensation. Countless have become homeless while some have been detained, beaten, and even killed.

In the past couple of years a number of people faced with having their homes demolished felt helpless and desperate enough that they threatened to set themselves on fire.

The Department of Sociology at Tsinghua University in Beijing recently published a report stating that the Chinese government has become more unstable while it increasingly relies on force to maintain social stability.

The report outlined the urgency of the high-priority issues that have continued to escalate in magnitude and depth for Chinese authorities in recent years—issues that revolve around the maintenance of social stability in the face of social conflicts, social unrest, and mass uprisings throughout the country.

The report said in part: “Many studies show that the absence of an effective mechanism for interest expression is the primary factor contributing to social conflicts and upheavals. Without an effective outlet for people to express their interests, unresolved conflicts will accumulate in an increasingly unstable society.

The growing social disputes stemming from violations of human rights and property rights, predominantly related to forced evictions, subsequent demolitions, and unpaid wages, are described as the leading causes of instability in China today.”


Fujin (富锦 ; pinyin : Fùjǐn) est une ville de la province du Heilongjiang en Chine. C’est une ville-district placée sous la juridiction de la ville-préfecture de Jiamusi.

~ par Alain Bertho sur 29 mai 2010.

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