Staatliche Gewalt gegen Bauern, nachdem Enteignungen in China Proteste auslösten. Doch Bauern können gar nicht enteignet werden. Problem ist die Trennung von Grundstück und Gebäuden im chinesischen Recht: For five months, Gao Lading and other angry farmers had occupied the walled compound of the Communist Party's village office. It was a sit-in born of desperation. Officials from the nearby city of Yulin had seized land that had been part of the village since imperial times. Early on Oct. 4, the government struck back. Witnesses say truckloads of paramilitary police officers surrounded the sleeping village. Hundreds of people inside the office compound were wounded as the police fired tear gas and rubber bullets. Women were attacked with cattle prods. Farmers sleeping nearby were beaten in their beds. "They pinned them to the bed, put handcuffs on them and dragged them away," said a woman whose husband was among the 29 people arrested.
Yulin officials, citing a dubious legal clause, ordered farmers to leave and offered them $60 per parcel of land. The farmers had screamed robbery. But farmers in China cannot be robbed of land, because they are not allowed to own it. Experts estimate that as many as 70 million farmers have lost their land in the past decade - a number expected to rise above 100 million.
Urban residents have not been immune to land seizures. Older sections of Shanghai, Beijing and other cities have fallen to wrecking balls to make way for new development. Residents are often poorly compensated and relocated to less convenient apartments.
But displaced farmers often lose their livelihood. They have little chance of finding other land and face daunting obstacles to creating a stable new life in cities. Losing their land also deprives them of a social safety net in a country without one. A farmer with land can at least eat.
The compensation offer of $60 per mu, or about one-sixth of an acre, infuriated farmers when they learned that the land was being leased to developers for 50 times that amount, or more. The Sanchawan farmers decided their only recourse was to protest.
After five month, on the morning of Oct. 4, the paramilitary police surrounded the village. Villagers counted as many as 2,000 officers. The attack was fierce. One man struck by a tear gas canister lost an eye. Hundreds of people were hospitalized, scores with serious wounds from the rubber bullets. Leaders like Gao were arrested.
The assault broke the protests