Chinese Farmer Who Asked Officials To Swim In Polluted River Is Beaten By Baton-Wielding Thugs

170px-AngleseyCopperStream220px-Factory_in_ChinaWe previously discussed how a local businessman shamed the Chinese government by offering to pay the top environmental official 200,000 yuan (around £20,000) to swim in the disgusting river near Rui’an City. The same dare was made by two Chinese environmentalists, including Chen Yuqian, a 60-year-old resident of Pailian village in Zhejiang province. It was a modest suggestion given the rampant environmental hazards and choking pollution in the country, including the dozens of cancer villages (which only this week were acknowledged by the government). However, he received his answer this week. Forty men came to his house and beat him for embarrassing the government — a standard response for Chinese environmentalists and villagers who succeeded in drawing attention to the dire plight of Chinese citizens.

Chen is a farmer who posted his challenge on the Internet. The result was that the 40 men broke into his house with batons on Sunday morning. His daughter says that the only thing the men said was “[You] used the internet, you always use the internet!” The Chinese government has long fought access of citizens to the Internet and social media.

The thugs stayed in the house for four or five hours beating Chen. Then police arrived — though environmentalist have little doubt in their minds that this was orchestrated by the government.

Chen has been campaigning the local paper mills dumping toxic waste into the river near their house. His family has developed red blisters from the water and land pollution linked to the factory.

Years ago, I spoke in Beijing about the need to allow citizen suits to allow locals to enforce basis environmental laws. The problem, of course, is that rampant corruption among Chinese government officials makes them partners in these environmental crimes. For Chinese officials, the problem is not the toxic river, but discussing the toxic river on the Internet.

In my visits to China, I have met Chinese environmentalists who show a level of bravery that I have rarely seen in person. They continue against all odds to fight for the environment and their fellow citizens. Chen Yuqian is one such person. A farmer who refuses to yield against overwhelming odds.

Source: Telegraph

6 thoughts on “Chinese Farmer Who Asked Officials To Swim In Polluted River Is Beaten By Baton-Wielding Thugs”

  1. In the 1930s, the Nazis had Brownshirts and Mussolini’s fascists had Blackshirts.

    Today, the teabaggers in the US have Blueshirts, and the Chinese dictatorship has Redshirts.

    And the tactics and goals of both eras are exactly the same.


  2. One definition of HYPE:

    “… a swindle, deception, or trick…” – Dictionary

    Global warming induced climate change denial is hype by that definition.

    So is the two decades of underreporting the damage so as not to scare people who should be scared because it is their right to know. So they can fix it.

    A graph linked to below has this text following it:

    Your brain will fight it, even with the numbers on the page staring back at you, because the collapse of civilization is simply beyond human comprehension. To really internalize this information means you would need to accept things like:

    – You are among the last people that will ever walk the Earth
    – Your children won’t survive to middle age
    – All of the beauty, culture, and scientific discoveries we’ve unlocked will return to the ether from whence they came.

    Forgive my French, but that is some heavy shit. Yet our ability to understand and feel threatened by this information is hindered by the fact that things don’t seem that bad right now. Sure things feel a little “off”, but how can we be so close to oblivion when life is (generally speaking) so good, modern and happy?

    The answer is exponentials. Climate change does not follow a linear path (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc…), it follow an exponential path (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, etc…).

    (Hullabaloo). The truth is not hype, it is just something we can’t handle.

  3. There must be some reason it is called “global” rather than “local” it would seem:

    The signs of rising water are everywhere in this seaport city: yellow “Streets May Flood” notices are common at highway underpasses, in low-lying neighborhoods and along the sprawling waterfront.

    Built at sea level on reclaimed wetland, Norfolk has faced floods throughout its 400-year history. But as the Atlantic Ocean warms and expands, and parts of the city subside, higher tides and fiercer storms seem to hit harder than they used to.

    Dealing with this increased threat has put Norfolk at the forefront of American cities taking the lead on coping with intense weather, from floods to droughts to killer heat, without waiting for the federal government to take the lead.

    In Norfolk, home to the largest U.S. Naval base and the second biggest commercial port on the U.S. Atlantic coast, floods are a perennial problem that has worsened in recent decades, Assistant City Manager Ron Williams Jr told Reuters.

    (Local warming: U.S. cities in front line as sea levels rise). And a bi-partisan group wrote to government officials telling them of dire consequences:

    Signatories include former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, General Wesley Clark, Richard Armitage, George W. Bush’s Deputy Secretary of State and Anthony Zinni, a retired four star general in the Marine Corps.

    “We, the undersigned Republicans, Democrats and Independents, implore US policymakers to support American security and global stability by addressing the risks of climate change in vulnerable nations. Their plight is our fight; their problems are our problems,” it says.

    “Without precautionary measures, climate change impacts abroad could spur mass migrations, influence civil conflict and ultimately lead to a more unpredictable world.

    (US Generals warn of climate change dangers). Like Willie Nelson sang, “Mommas, don’t let your cowboys grow up to be babies.”

  4. Steve,

    This could be anyplace in the US…. Try LA, Detriot, New York, Chicago, Dallas…. Being a Thug requires a certain mentality….

  5. Our whistle blowers get fired, shunned, or jailed, We are more advanced.

    The perpetrators of the offenses that are exposed by the whistle blowers, get raises in pay, become more firmly ensconced in corporate structure, or government and generally benefit from their offenses.

    Yes the world is turned “Upside Down”

    If buttercups buzz’d after the bee,
    If boats were on land, churches on sea,
    If ponies rode men and if grass ate the cows,
    And cats should be chased into holes by the mouse,
    If the mamas sold their babies
    To the gypsies for half a crown;
    If summer were spring and the other way round,
    Then all the world would be upside down..

  6. We have to admire the courage of people who face government savagery to protect all of us.

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