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[Domestic repression is always linked to the economic system, and in China the link is especially perverse because the CCP promises worker's control but forbids workers from striking. While working conditions and wages in most of China remain appalling, the underclass is just beginning to receive rewards for its generations of thankless labor. But at this same moment, the cheap energy that makes industrial society possible is disappearing. --JAH]
By Larry Chin
12 December 2005
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Armed police cracked down on the village of Dongzhou, China on Friday (December 9, 2005) to quell protests and riots over the confiscation of land for a wind-powered electricity plant. Villagers claim that at least 14 have been killed.
Residents of Dongzhou say that their village had been occupied and blocked off by security forces since the summer. China, with its booming economy and population, is desperate for energy and is resorting to desperate and violent measures (from unprecedented internal measures, such as the damming of the Yangtze River and the potentially disastrous Three Gorges Project, to fighting the equally desperate United States over scarce external supplies all over the world) for the very survival of their society. According to the Washington Post account of the Dongzhou incident, “the use of live ammunition to put down a protest is almost unheard of in China,” but a significant increase in disturbances (“rebellions”), particularly over land-use, environmental and property rights issues, has pushed nervous Chinese officials and security forces to more lethal tactics.
This violence pushes the horrific fact of world resource scarcity, Peak Oil and Gas, front and center again. For the smug and ignorant who think the unprecedented violence in Dongzhou “couldn’t happen here,” “over nothing more than a power plant,” think again.