By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, July 5: A large-scale protest involving thousands of Chinese people against a new incinerator was reported in southern China.
The incinerator, which will generate power by burning waste is planned to be built near the River Xi, main source of drinking water for the 70,000 residents of Lubu town in Guangdong province.
Fearing air and drinking water pollution from the new incinerator in Lubu town, about 10,000 protestors took to the streets.
As the protest turned violent, 4,000 paramilitary police and SWAT team officials armed with batons, shields, guns and pepper spray were deployed to quell the protest, South China Morning Post quoted a witness as saying in report July 3.
“The river is a major source of our drinking water and we are worried about air and water pollution,” Lin, a resident has reportedly told Associate press.
The unusual large-scale protest was transpired by uncertainty over the project following an announcement by Lubu town government to halt the project as 1,000 villagers protested last month.
Footage being circulated on social media shows police using their batons to hit protesters crouching on the ground or against the wall.
Stand off between the armed police and peaceful protesters escalated and turned violent.
“We want to express our opposition through peaceful protest and did not expect the situation to turn violent,” a 23-year-old protester was quoted as saying in reports of South China Morning Post.
A post on social media by the Communist Party’s propaganda department for the district reads, “Some ordinary people who are unaware of the truth led by some troublemakers attempted to storm the Lubu town government.” It further warned those who had attacked police officers to voluntarily surrender and advised the government officials to leave immediately as protesters tried to break into government offices.