The war’s on! Peasant builds blockhouse to fight against force demolition

| June 14th, 2010

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(From ctdsw) To protect his contracted property from being demolished by force, 56 years old peasant Yang Youde builds a blockhouse on his farming land and successfully scares the demolition team away twice using fire-tubes. Yang says he is not nail-household who struggles for higher compensation, he is just fighting to justify what he entitled to by laws.

Yang contracted about 4 acres of land where he keeps fish, cattle and grows cotton and fruit. He also has a couple of bungalows in the middle of the fields where he and his wife live. The contract isn’t due until 2029. Last year, his land was expropriated  but Yang refused to move out due to compensation dispute.

According to local administrative committee, Yang’s 13.23 mu (about 2.18 acres)of fish pool is to be compensated 2480/mu, plus covers of costs of production, the sum worth 75919 RMB and latter raised to 130977 RMB.

But Yang disagrees, he then refers to No 46 Document issued by Hubei Province and effected since 2009, which stipulates the compensation for expropriated lands in the area be 46800/mu (Data from news.china.com.cn). And the local committee and developers disagree with Yang’s disagreement. Thus the war is on.

Reporter met Yang in his land in Dongxi Lake, Hubei Province. To slow the demolition team down in the case of emergency, Yang set up blocks along the paths in the fields. Yang said he could still burn those blocks when the team forced through.

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“They said several times that they are gonna play tough with me.” said Yang, who out of concern for his own safety turned a tipcart into a “multiple-fire cannon”half a year ago.

On Feb 6th, over 30 people came into the fields to take down Yang’s farm house by force. “I ignited those large fireworks at the time, but they hid behind a forklift and waited. When the fireworks went out, they came up and hailed blew on me.”

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The demolition team didn’t tear the bungalows down right away but left threatening to do it next time. Yang thus built the 3 square-meter blockhouse on 8-meter-high stilts that day and improved his “weapons” with the helps from family and friends. Standing on the blockhouse, he could have a panoramic view of his 4 acres fields.

According to Yang, another demolition team of more than 100 people with helmets and shields on showed up again on May 25th afternoon and approached under the cover of dozer and excavator. “I climbed up the blockhouse and fired them a few shots, they stopped and went away when police came.”

During the interview, Yang repeated that he was not nail household:” They asked for too high a price, what I am inquiring is in accordance with government policy.”

Yang planned to go on with his defends, and hand-made some new close range weapon “petrol bombs”. He even put a deck chair up on the blockhouse in order to guard his land around the clock.

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(The sign reads “Persecution and retaliation is against policy and laws)

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(Slogan on the post says “Leave me with no choice, I have to fight”)

(From bjnews)There are some slogan around Yang’s “territory”, all of which are about rights safeguarding, or war, as called by Yang himself. Yang also likes to refer to words like platform, right of speech. He says rights safeguarding is more important than life, so when his wife worries about being revenged upon, he exclaimed:”Shouldn’t mind that in times like this.”

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The wife quivered all over when Yang first fired at the demolition team on May 25th. Yang comforted her saying there were relatives responsible for calling 110 (police). But Yang’s the only one who ever touched those “weapon” for he didn’t want to drag others into this.

He develops his strategy with the large fire-tubes about how to shoot 100 meter and 80 meter respectively. He learns the different firing range of different large fireworks through practice. But Yang says he sometimes trembles too when standing high on the watch box since he does not know what’s next.

(From Strait News)A few days later since the report about Yang’s home-made weapon, police intervened in the matter. On June 8th, Yang was inquired about his attacking demolition workers with fire-tubes from large fireworks. Police said Yang had break the Security Administration Punishment Act, but since he had a good reason, they just took away 5 pieces of his fireworks, and asked him to sign an agreement about breaking the laws again.

Yang agreed to sign but also made it clear that it should be “not breaking the laws mutually”, otherwise he would still fight back when the demolition force through. He requested adding an entry before the “not breaking laws” clause, which is “I will never break the laws first”.

Quotes of Yang from an interview with Beijing News Paper.

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  “About force demolition, I saw many people go with negative ways such as showing gasoline over themselves and their family to burn. I don’t wanna do that, I think that is a sign of not having faint in the Party. I am different, I don’t want to hurt myself, and I believe it is the subordinates that are messing around, the upper level is still just, so I won’t burn myself. I think those who burn are irresponsible for their family. I am not negative, I think of dying but only for one reason—murdered. I will never kill myself.”

“If I break the law (by inadvertently killing someone during the fight),I will get punished by law. But on trail stand, I will still accuse them of unjustness in their manner of doing things. At that time at least I can still talk, better than suicide.”

“I don’t want to die, and I don’t want to give up my lawful rights. They make me do this. I have 6 brother, none of us ever goes into police station. We are civilians who observes the laws. Illegal things are too much, but fireworks, I think those won’t kill.”

“We must act within law, and meanwhile protect ourselves, so we figure a way out. These fire-tubes can do little to protect us, but at least they slow those demolition people down and I have time to call 110.

“I am a peasant, but I have my way. Large fireworks are common in daily life, with love, they are used to mean welcome, with anger, they are to fight.”

“I’ve thought about being shot or beaten to death, for which I even prepared my will. It is for my son, I tell him if I die, don’t be sorrowful, and leave the body alone to keep on guarding our rights and claiming our money.”

“If they attack every month, then we will be sleepless the whole month, nor can we work. The torture, the horror only those who went through the anti-Japanese war can know, and we are living in the middle of it.”

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“(I’ve prepared) 2 cases, 48 shots (high up there), and another case in my room in case I am under control, my brothers can pick up and fight.”

“I have a loudspeaker, I’ll shout ‘I am firing at you, I hope you stop approaching, once you get into my range I’ll shoot’ . And when I do shoot, I aim at the sky or shoot to the places behind them to crack. I don’t want to hurt anyone. The reason I use firework, for one I want the demolition to stop, for two, I am signaling the police.”

“(The fields) mean income for the rest of my life, too important. I will have to drift along the street without the fields.”

“I am a peasant living on my lands. You want to expropriate them, fine no problem but you have to compensate me according to the laws and policies. Otherwise I will have to steal or rob. If I am the only one to steal or rob, I will be sent into jail; but when everybody are forced into stealing and robbing, it becomes a societal problem. Peasant lives on lands, no matter when, this is the least thing I ask for, nothing more, just what I am entitled to according to policy.”

“No, I cannot appeal, if I do, my houses and lands will be gone. One hour, the whole land will be pushed flat. What I can do now is to protect it. I know them too well, only by protecting the scene can I talk.”

(In response to what kind of person he thinks himself is) “I am a person who like to make friends. Officials say I am unruly, civilians say I am a good man. My life is counting on fields. I don’t want any extra fees from our country, I never break the laws, I even send my children into the army.”

12 Comments | Leave a comment | Comment feed

  1. Crystal says:

    Thumbs up to brother Yang!

  2. Lotusboy says:

    Fight the govt! It looks like Avavtar happens daily in China, and it’s not special effects, but real Gestapo govt tactics against the people. Of ourselves, in china, if u have money and money, u r good. If u r Mr Yang, a peasant, then they will roll u over and eat u for lunch.

    In china, money is god, and mr Yang’s land is worth a lot to some govt official. In the end, he cannot stop the tanks, but I salute him for fighting back.

  3. GuoBao says:

    Good for him but he wants 46800 rmb pr mu?? You’ve gotta be kidding me. For that kind of money 99 percent of China’s farmers would BEG contractors to take their land.

    • Gary says:

      Read a little more carefully. He didn’t pull that number out of the air; his reading of the law in his province says he should get that. This isn’t a case of street vendor style haggling. He also shouldn’t have to move out while the dispute is being processed because obviously the construction crew would take over and he would lose all his leverage. Kudos to him for knowing his rights and fighting for them. Shame on the thugs who work for the construction company and come to try to throw him out. Some day the bosses will stomp on them too.

      • GuoBao says:

        I did read it carefully. I am just pointing out that there’s got to be something wrong with that number. Either from the original paper he is refering to, he is misinformed, lying or there is something wrong with the translation. Maybe it’s true but it just sounds way way too high.

        • Gary says:

          OK, I just thought it should be pointed out that “he thinks he is entitled to” is much different from “he wants”.

  4. 刘俊逸 says:

    I like that guy

  5. courtney says:

    He’s a talent ~! The weapons in pic were all made by him ~?

  6. Devin says:

    It’s a old one in china

  7. steve-oh says:

    fight the power

  8. Mark says:

    I saw the looting in L.A. I saw the protests around Parker Center downtown and later the so called riot and looting. I saw an Asian guy in South Central L.A. holding off a group of looters with a pistol to protect his market in absolute darkness except for light from some distant burning buildings.

    What the hell does that have to do with a peasant in China fighting for his rights jeez.

  9. David OHara says:

    I am an American reading ChinaHush because reading what Chinese think of their country is fascinating.
    I admire this guy He makes his weapons and is seriously resourcesful. Please, send him to the USA if China does not want him.

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