“After the riots”

Tom Lasseter from McClatchy posts some pictures from Dadun village in Guangzhou. Dadun was the site of a riot last week, and Lasseter writes about what he learned when filing the story:

I filed a story this week looking at the causes of recent unrest in China, concentrating on riots that began in Dadun Village in Guangdong Province. My story and others covered the complex set of factors that set those events in motion, but I wanted to also share a sense of what the place looks like.

The first image is of a charred car, a motif of the violence, but the rest give a snapshot of street life in the days after. The area is full of young people, almost all migrant workers who’ve come to work in shops that sew and package denim jeans. Among the usual complaints about low wages and tough work conditions, many I interviewed said they were angry about local security units.

One man who works at a corner grocery very close to where the initial fracas began told me: “The public security teams come to shops’ doors and say they need fees for one thing or the other, but they’re really just collecting protection money.”

Like in America, more and more of the wealth in China is flowing to the top, cutting the rest of the country out of China’s rise. More and more people have complaints like this, and I think more and more of them are coming to understand that the government doesn’t care about what happens to them- and that it will actively antagonize them if they complain too loudly. Riots like this are the inevitable result.

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Filed under China, inequality, riots

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