Saturday, December 17, 2005

China continues to repress town

The government of China attacked the people of Dhongzhou and killed 20. They were protesting against the taking of their properties for a new power plant without compensation. China is doing everything they can to supress talk of what the government did. The New York Times reports:
Now, a stilted calm prevails, a cover-up so carefully planned that the small town looks like a relic from the Cultural Revolution, as if the government had decided to re-educate the entire population. Banners hang everywhere, with slogans in big red characters proclaiming things like, "Stability is paramount" and "Don't trust instigators." Many facts remain unclear about the police crackdown on a Dongzhou demonstration on Dec. 6, which residents say ended in the deaths of 20 or more people, but one thing is certain: The government is doing everything possible to prevent witnesses' accounts of what happened from emerging. Residents of Dongzhou, a small town now cordoned off by heavy police roadblocks and patrols, said in scores of interviews on the telephone and with visitors that they had endured beatings, bribes and threats at the hands of security forces in the week and a half after their protest against the construction of a power plant was violently put down. Others said that the corpses of the dead had been withheld, apparently because they were so riddled with bullets that they would contradict the government's version of events.
And there is a reward for telling the government's lie.
And residents have been warned that if they must explain the deaths of loved ones - many of whom were shot dead during a tense standoff with the police in which fireworks, blasting caps and crude gasoline bombs were thrown by the villagers - they should simply say their relatives were blown up by their own explosives. "Local officials are talking to families that had relatives killed in the incident, telling them that if they tell higher officials and outsiders that they died by accident, by explosives, while confronting the police, they must make it sound convincing," said one resident of the besieged town in an interview. "If the family members speak this way they are being promised 50,000 yuan ($6,193), and if not, they will be beaten and get nothing out of it."
Should the world reward China with the spotlight of the 2008 Olypmics? It will be a spectacular show. But the show is being built on the deaths of - who's counting? - thousands of their own people. One historian is counting. RJ Rummel at the University of Hawaii has spent decades counting "Deaths by Government." This does not count wars. He only counts when a country kills its own citizens. It is available at His website at U of Hawaii Freedom, Democracy, Peace; Power, Democide, and War covers the facts for quck reference. And I just discovered his blog "Democratic Peace." In a recent entry he updates the number of people the Communist government of China has killed: 77,000,000. This number does not include the actions of the previous governments. On December 6, 2005 the Communist government of China added at least 20 to the 77,000,000 of its own people it has killed. Note: "This exceeds the 61,911,000 murdered by the Soviet Union 1917-1987, with Hitler far behind at 20,946,000 wiped out 1933-1945. For perspective on Mao's most bloody rule, all wars 1900-1987 cost in combat dead 34,021,000 -- including WWI and II, Vietnam, Korea, and the Mexican and Russian Revolutions. Mao alone murdered over twice as many as were killed in combat in all these wars." Quoting Rummel's web site.

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