Dongzhou, the village in Guangdong province that was the scene last year of a bloody suppression of a local anti-corruption protest, is back in the news. This is from yesterday's BBC:
The latest protest was sparked by the detention last week of villager Chen Qian, who was hanging up anti-corruption posters when he was taken into custody, according to Radio Free Asia.
Police vans were deployed outside the village as residents locked hostages in a local temple on 9 November. They moved in nine days later.
Hong Kong's Ming Pao Daily newspaper reported on Sunday that three villagers were also arrested.
"The authorities never wanted to resolve this peacefully. They are like the mafia.
"They arrested Chen Qian and two or three others and have beaten them half dead," a villager told AFP news agency.
Local officials and police refused to comment.
We are coming up on the one year anniversary of the larger protests and demonstrations that killed several people (three is the official police report; local people have maintained that more people were shot). It seems that, in that year, the underlying problem of inadequate compensation for the initial land requisition has not been addressed. People are still angry and willing to protest.
All of this undermines the Confucian-like statements from the country's top leaders that they are defending the people's interests and pursuing a "harmonious society." If Beijing cannot get Dongzhou right, why should people elsewhere believe that their interests are protected? And if Dongzhou, and incidents like it, are not resolved, people will continue to take to the streets and challenge the government.
Why can't the government do the right thing in Dongzhou?