Chinese Villagers Protest Theft of Drinking Water, Face Jail Time
China is an extreme example of water pollution. No water, no life
Villagers in the central province of Shaanxi discovered that local officials secretly installed pipes to siphon off their clean well water, forcing them to purchase water of a lesser quality.
A protester explained to RFA:
He said the standoff was sparked when villagers discovered in early August that officials had secretly installed a pipeline to extract water from a well they rely on for drinking water, and villagers had cut it in protest. Radio Free Asia
The protest and rally outside the local government offices was tame by Western standards. People converged on the space outside the offices holding banners, one of which read “Dismiss the Worthless Party Secretary”. However in the PRC even such mild objections to injustices can land a protester a lengthy jail sentence. Unconfirmed reports are that some of the villagers have been handed seven year sentences.
Water is quickly becoming the issue in China. The realization that the Great Leap Forward has come with a high cost to the environment is finally hitting home. The world was shocked when thousands of dead pigs were found floating in the river that supplies drinking water to the glitzy city of Shanghai. Some water sources have been sucked dry, others are so polluted with toxins that they are dangerous to the touch. It is estimated that 90% of the groundwater is polluted, which endangers hundreds of millions of people.
Unconfirmed reporting from Tiejiangpu Village is reporting that the issue has not been settled. Police raided homes, trying to arrest suspected activists but were repelled by the citizens and police cars were seized.
After morning broke the next day, villagers went
to protest in front of the county government.
Villagers and police clashed again, and
many people were reportedly injured. NTD Television