Police in Dongguan crack down on anti-Japanese protestersPosted: 08/27/2012 11:24 am
One week after protests erupted in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and elsewhere in China over Japan’s claims to the Diaoyu Islands, protesters in Dongguan took to the streets to voice their displeasure yesterday. The key difference in this case: the riot police were brought in to disperse the crowd.
While the original protests last week seemed to have the tacit approval of authorities, this latest one in Dongguan clearly did not. The South China Morning Post reports (behind a paywall) that hundreds of protesters gathered in Dongguan yesterday and marched towards the city’s government plaza in Dongcheng District. Before they got there though, riot police arrived and began trying to break up the protest. This inevitably resulted in some scuffles, with protesters throwing objects at the police.
A 25-year-old man who was visiting Dongguan with a friend from a town outside the city was severely beaten by police, said the 17-year-old friend.
“We were just curious to see what was happening and suddenly we were rounded up by police carrying shields and long black batons,” she said, sobbing. Her green top was stained with her friend’s blood.
The distraught girl was looking for a doctor and lost track of her friend in the chaos.
“A policeman, without warning, hit my friend’s head with his baton. He was covered in blood. But they still beat him even though he was already bleeding,” she said. “The next thing I knew I was pushed away by police. I can’t find my friend and I can’t find a doctor. I don’t know what to do.”
One shop owner in Dongguan said messages began circulating earlier in the week calling for a protest to take place on Sunday, however the idea was scrapped when 20,000 people signed up. He said organizers shut it down because they were worried it would be out of control.
You can watch footage of the protest here.