Villagers defend their home against demolition squad’s fire extinguishers

| April 15th, 2010

Nail household; nail house; stubborn nail: (钉子户) A person or household that refuses to relocate due to compensation disagreements when the land is requisitioned for new construction.

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Conflicts between the demolition squad and the nail household being forcefully relocated often happen in China. Nemours huge tragic incidents have occurred in the recent past. Chinese residents often took extreme measures in protecting their properties, like throwing home-made fire bombs at the demolition squad. But the most common strategy is just holding their ground and threatens to suicide, to live and die with the house. Shockingly, there were at least 2 incidents in the past year, the residents actually killed themselves, burned themselves alive in front of the government demolition squad to protest the unfair compensation and land requisition and to show their will of “live or die with their homes”. Of course many other casualties like this also can happen…

From Netease:

On April 13, the above scene in the video happened in Yangqing Town, Yanqing County in Beijing while the town government is to forcefully tear down villager Kang Shunqing’s home. Originally this area had 603 residents, since September of last year, over 500 of the homes were tore down, and currently only 26 homes are still there. 53 year old Kang Shunqing’s family is one of them.

8 am yesterday, town government organized demolition squad members arrived one after another and announced that they were going to use force. While the excavator was operating, Mr. and Ms. Kang fought back fiercely. Their neighbors from the other leftover homes also came to help them fighting back against the demolition squad.

Kang said in the beginning, a dozen people were guarding the outside room, but the excavator directly opened up the roof and walls, and a few beams even broke down. So everyone retreated back to the back room. Then suddenly 7 or 8 men dressed in black rushed into the house and tried to pull them out but was unsuccessful. In order to stop the demolition, they also threw beer bottles out.

1 pm in the afternoon, the number of people dressed in black increased to more than 20, and they all were wearing motorcycle helmets and holding fire extinguishers. The roof and all around the house were surrounded by people in black. They began to open the tiles, breaking the windows, and also sprayed their fire extinguishers from various angles into the room. People inside of the room were coking by the dry powder and covered their mouth and nose with their clothes. Some people in black started to throw bricks and sticks into the house. Subsequently, many rushed in and started beating on Mr. and Ms. Kang and some neighbors to the ground. Other neighbors came forward and pulled the injured couple back into the room.

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Yesterday afternoon, the reporter went to the scene, the house was already in horrendous shape. Kang Shunqing sat by the door, holding a walking stick and covered by dry powder. People dressed in black already left the scene at that time. Ms. Kang was lying in bed, constantly groaning. There was a huge hole on the roof.

Around 6 pm, the demolition squad and government staffs completely left the scene. Kang Shunqing’s family walked out of the room. In order to thank his neighbors’ help, he knelt down on the spot and started kowtowing to thank everyone.

Kang Shunqing said, in September last year, the relocation compensation was given as 2 new units of homes, but they must pay per square meter to buy them. “I am a common person; do not have a job, where do I get the tens and thousands.” So the he never signed the agreement, until the forced eviction.

 

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Yanqing town government spokesperson said, this is an old village reconstruction project. Because Kang Shungqing was dissatisfied with the town government, he refused to relocate. They have sent people to negotiate number of times but had no results.

This spokesperson said, currently there are 26 remaining villagers and seriously affected the other 500 families’ process of moving back to their new homes. For the interests of the majority of the villagers, they decided to carry out the force demolition. He said the government’s relocation compensation takes the common people into account, the new homes were offered at 918 yuan per square meters, the government is to make up more than 900 yuan per square meters for them.

He also said, yesterday morning they first used loudspeaker but Kang Shungqing threw beer bottles at them and injured one staff member’s face, he had 8 stitches. And those men wearing helmets are all from the demolition company, the reason for them to use fire extinguishers and spray dry powder into the room was that they thought the beer bottles were lit with fire.

13 Comments | Leave a comment | Comment feed

  1. GuoBao says:

    How stupid do they think we are seriously?! If you are going to condone your actions at least try not to outright lie to the public.

    ” the reason for them to use fire extinguishers and spray dry powder into the room was that they thought the beer bottles were lit with fire.” – yeah,, that’s clear from the pictures.

    “, seriously affected the other 500 families’ process of moving back to their new homes. For the interests of the majority of the villagers, they decided to carry out the force demolition” -that doesn’t make any sense since the other villagers obviously moved out and into their new places weeks or months ago.

    On second note fire extinguishers are filled with some very nasty chemicals and can be highly toxic if you are forced to breathe in large amounts of it as I assume the people in that 2×3 room had to.

  2. Carl says:

    LOL the march of “progress”

  3. Jigsawlogic says:

    Why do the authorities even bother to make excuses? Their motivation is entirely transparent, and they would have more credibility if they admitted their lack of morality and stood by it.

    why not just say, “Look. We’re getting a ton of kickbacks from developers, which means we can afford more secret wives, flashy watches, and expensive cars. This is China. Here, only a fool would refuse such an offer.”

    But to try to spin this action into a morally justified position? It’s like putting a flower pot in a garbage dump, and then calling it a garden.

    • Wang Er says:

      I wouldn’t say so. There’s nothing new that authorities are trying to make excuses or to cover things up. It’s just that Chinese authorities are so bad at doing it. Their ‘instinct’ as a government to do damage-control in PR has been deteriorating to a dangerous level, partially due to the lack of opposition political parties, since they drove KMT to the island in 1949. That’s what I’m really worried about.

      No, you wouldn’t bring up a PR-savvy local official by grabbing a new college grad and sending him to the top party school for four straight years. Election doesn’t guarantee you a most capable governor, but hey the starting-point is there – on the first day of inauguration, he already has ends of at least half dog chains in hands.

  4. elenore says:

    How do you force people to destroy their home and buy a new house.This is the saddest thing I have heard besides the Child/slave Labor camps.I feel your pain after my husband lost his job(US government paid outsourcing)we had our house repossessed by Bank that receive government bailout money.We need a worldwide Workers/People Movement against Businesses and Move governments to stop forcing us to pay to lose our employment and homes.Their is enough resources and room for everyone on this Earth.

  5. Crystal says:

    For some people the problem is exactly the opposite: in my grandparent’s village they are just waiting when finally their houses are going to be demolished and the compensations would be paid 🙂

  6. Jack says:

    Eminent Domain, Chinese style.

    This is why property rights are so important. This is coming to Amerika. In reality it is all ready half way here……………….If I lived in China I would have been one of those millions that Mao murdered.

    I wonder what my fate will be here in the coming decade. I smell a shit storm a brewing and it is shaping up to be a perfect storm.

  7. Chas says:

    Good lord typical anti-China drivel.

    Does eminent domain abuse (which happens here in US too) mean people can throw fire bombs, take the law into their own hand?

    Go to court, appeal, settle, that why the laws are there. BTW land lease system exist elsewhere too, Hawaii’s Biship Estate, London.

    • Jack says:

      Fire bombs? Says who? Oh yea the Chinese government. (Pause for a good laugh.) Even though I don’t believe there were fire bombs as you put it but to answer your question about people taking things into their own hands….HELL YES!

      Some times that is all you can do. Try and tear my house down with me in it and you ARE GOING TO BE SHOT. I don’t care who you are.

      I seriously doubt that there is any going to court to stop this kind of thing in China as there are no personal rights in communist governments, most certainly not when it pertains to property rights.

      In Los Angels when certain urban renewal interests couldn’t get their way they used the cover of the “Rodney King” riots to just burn down those properties that wouldn’t “yield to progress”. So to hell with your take it to court attitude. Since when is justice ever served in a court room any ways.

      • Chas says:

        BS, ED abuse occurs in US all the time. When home owners cheated by loan processors and got into mortgage trouble, the sheriff come evict them and they move out. I ain’t heard of nobody shooting anyone, or hole themselves in.

        • Jack says:

          Foreclosures where someone defaults on their loan is not the same as when the government comes and starts tearing your house down while you are still in it. If your house is paid for and the compensation that they are offering is 30 more years of reduced payments for your new house, it is bull shit. This guy said he wasn’t working, which means he has no way to pay for his new home, that he doesn’t even want. He and his whole family will be homeless in no time. But who cares about individual rights when they stand in the way of progress and the collective good. Right?
          Oh and by the way if they come to my house and started tearing it down while I was still inside you would definitely hear about it.

  8. Chas says:

    BTW Detroit Dave Bing’s plan to demolish buildings and decrepit building includes forced eviction, and is being criticized by some:

    http://www.democracynow.org/2010/4/2/community_activists_criticize_detroit_urban_renewal

    But what ya gonna do? Detroit has crack house neighborhoods in the inner city, there’s no choice but to force few hold outs to move and level the block. Things ain’t that simple, not for us, not for the Chinese.

  9. Melanie says:

    Their economy may be humming along but their freedoms are nowhere to be found. I suppose it is not all that bad to have an economy that needs revitalizing and still have our freedoms. Melanie

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