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19 Jun 2016

China: 5 years after landmark demonstrations, Wukan villagers protest again over "worse" land disputes, despite arrest of directly elected chief

"Thousands of people in Wukan in southern Guangdong province defied a police warning and staged a protest march…demanding that authorities ­release their village chief and ­return occupied land…More than 2,000 residents...amid a heavy presence of riot police…Authorities had attempted to halt the ­assembly by detaining Wukan’s party secretary, Lin Zuluan, at midnight on Saturday.

…In September 2011…residents staged a series of protests over land seizures. The Guangdong provincial government eventually relented and, in an attempt to end the protests over their land, granted the villagers a grass-roots election to select their own leaders. But almost five years later, ­villagers complain that…a variety of individuals, companies and property developers have stolen more communal land – possibly with political backing…"