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Rumble in Bazhou City
December 3, 2012 7:57 AM   Subscribe

In China, people are being evicted from their homes at an alarming rate, according to a recent report by Amnesty International. Eager to spur economic development, local Communist Party officials have used violence and intimidation to force people out of their homes and farmland, including employing private gangs to attack residents who won't comply with eviction orders. In Hebei Province, however, one father-and-son duo, both devotees of Bruce Lee and facing a gang of over 30 men outside their house, decided to fight back--and won.

Here's video of the aftermath (apparently only seven thugs were beaten up before the rest ran away). Unfortunately, in the wake of the fight, the family has had to abandon their home and the son is under arrest for assault.

Here is additional reporting from the Epoch Times. There are some inconsistencies between the Times and Telegraph articles; e.g., the Telegraph names the father as Shen Jianzhong, which the Times says is the name of the son. But the basic story seems to be legitimate.
posted by Cash4Lead (31 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
The end of the Telegraph article is ... unsettling. I hope Mr Shen found an ally, but I wonder if the phone call wasn't from someone on the other side instead.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:10 AM on December 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


They need to teach some Scottish dudes that so they can kick the ass of Donald Trump's thugs when he demands they give up everything for his fucking golf course...
posted by symbioid at 8:10 AM on December 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also - can we like - somehow force the CCP to stop calling themselves Communist, yet?
posted by symbioid at 8:11 AM on December 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's unfortunate this story doesn't have a happy ending. Perhaps they can join Song Jiang at Liangshan Marsh. I'm sure he'd be impressed with their skills, and even make them captains.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 8:15 AM on December 3, 2012


A Chinese friend of mine joked to me in Beijing that they should change the name of the country to Chai Na (demolish this). There has been an ever growing backlash against development at all cost even among urban hipsters.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:16 AM on December 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also - can we like - somehow force the CCP to stop calling themselves Communist, yet?

Property is theft, symbioid. How dare those farmers think that their personal needs trump those of the collective state! The state DEMANDS another soulless, marble facade, hastily constructed housing block on that land!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:19 AM on December 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Property is theft, symbioid. How dare those farmers think that their personal needs trump those of the collective state! The state DEMANDS another soulless, marble facade, hastily constructed housing block on that land!

If you'd bothered to read the article, or paid attention to the last thirty years of Chinese history, you'd know that the "Communist" party officials are stealing the land to sell it to private developers.

One of the surest signs that a person's opinions are worth ignoring is that they act like the "Communist" in "Chinese Communist Party" means fucking anything post-Deng.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:26 AM on December 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


See, in the United States we call this sort of thing The Kelo Decision.
posted by DWRoelands at 8:28 AM on December 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Hmm, I really didn't think I needed a /hamburger (/hanbaobao?) tag on that comment.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:31 AM on December 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Eminent Domain would be a pretty bad ass name for a Bruce Lee movie though . . .
posted by Think_Long at 8:34 AM on December 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


My friend the Asian Studies major calls China "The Wild East" due to its quasi-anarchic state of industrial society, which parallels the Wild West of early American history. When I visited Shanghai, I was amazed by how many restaurants and businesses simply expanded their walls to take over the whole sidewalk, forcing people to walk in the street. A simple bribe to a government official effectively makes all of this legal. Just to give you an example of the lengths party officials are willing to go to in order to facilitate land development, here is a report about a man who wouldn't sell his house - so they built a highway around it.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 8:44 AM on December 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


One of the surest signs that a person's opinions are worth ignoring is that they act like the "Communist" in "Chinese Communist Party" means fucking anything post-Deng.

Um, as opposed to during the Mao era when it meant pretty much whatever Mao said?

Honestly, who's going to play this game of semantics? Naxalites? The Shining Path?
posted by FJT at 8:46 AM on December 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Um, as opposed to during the Mao era when it meant pretty much whatever Mao said?

Honestly, who's going to play this game of semantics? Naxalites? The Shining Path?


If you're seriously going to argue that a party which has overseen one of the largest expansions of private enterprise, trade, and wage labor in the last fifty years is a communist party, then you might as well erase the word "Communist" from your vocabulary and use whatever metasyntactic variable springs to mind in the moment because it is clearly a word that has no meaning whatsoever in your mind.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:57 AM on December 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


... report about a man who wouldn't sell his house - so they built a highway around it.

Apparently now demolished
posted by achrise at 9:08 AM on December 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


WAIT WAIT WAIT - I thought only Russians were communists.
posted by Chutzler at 9:21 AM on December 3, 2012


Apparently now demolished

At least 42 Lomasney Way still stands proud in Boston's West End.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:29 AM on December 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


then you might as well erase the word "Communist" from your vocabulary and use whatever metasyntactic variable springs to mind in the moment because it is clearly a word that has no meaning whatsoever in your mind.

First, why is it when the term "Communist" comes up, then all of a sudden everyone tries to outdo each other with precise definitions that go through such a fine comb as to prove that they definitely read the Manifesto and have personally met Fidel Castro. We're dealing with fucking political parties. In the US, people understand what "Democratic" means and what "Republican" means, even though the descriptions of the parties don't really say ANYTHING about their platforms or core beliefs. It's not an only US or China thing, either. The main party in Singapore is called "People's Action Party", even though it's conservative and anti-Communist also also the main party in a more or less single party state.

Second, organizations often change beyond their names, because history. The CCP is not using "Communist" in the political theory sense anymore. They're simply using Communist because of historical precedence. Just like how ATT keeps that extra T even though they hardly deal with telegraphs anymore. Or how the United Nations is anything but.
posted by FJT at 9:31 AM on December 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


Ooh, ooh. Can we make the Libertarians change their name too? Actually, I want a truth a labeling law. The "Multinational corporate party, pretty close to the US median in social issues party" and the "Big business party, pretty close to South Alabama on social issues party" sound about right for the US. What should we call the CCP? "Chinese Conformity and Privatization " ?
posted by tyllwin at 9:52 AM on December 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Economically they aren't really Communist because they're successfully developing their economy and lifting people out of poverty. That takes capitalism, which they've been successfully implementing for twenty years now.

They still have the political apparatus of Communism though: censorship, political prisoners, corruption. So it's, I suppose, a question of what you think is important about Communism: is it the grinding economic failure, or the despotic government? They're clearly failing on the former, but they maintain the latter.

Is that what you meant, grin?
posted by alasdair at 11:36 AM on December 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


State Capitalism has been part of 'Communism' since the time of Lenin
posted by nikodym at 11:52 AM on December 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Attitudes in China about this kind of eviction are different than one might expect. Living in one of these properties is seen as very lucrative, and selling out to developers can be a huge windfall. I wouldn't be surprised if some Chinese netizens expressed the sentiment that this guy is being greedy and holding out for too much.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 12:04 PM on December 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't be surprised if some Chinese netizens expressed the sentiment that this guy is being greedy and holding out for too much.

I didn't get that impression, so much as he had just finished building the house for 600,000 yuan, and the best the government was offering was 260,000 yuan; less than half what he'd paid for the house. I would be holding out for more, too.
posted by xedrik at 12:20 PM on December 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Economically they aren't really Communist because they're successfully developing their economy and lifting people out of poverty. That takes capitalism, which they've been successfully implementing for twenty years now.

I think you forgot a hamburger tag somewhere.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 12:31 PM on December 3, 2012


If only everybody was Kung fu fighting.

The end of the Telegraph article is ... unsettling.
Yeah it was. The whole last third is creepy.
Baron buys up land. Guy refuses to sell. They warn him. Then hire thugs to harass people. He fights back. The police won't help. Then his kid gets arrested.
And yeah, Zhou Jin seems like a deus ex. But some people like busting heads in a good cause. I can't imagine Shen is the only righteous guy in China.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:30 PM on December 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ha, silly backward foreigners. We don't need thugs in the enlightened U.S., we have eminent domain. I'll bet they haven't even thought of the lovely refinement of using taxpayer money to fund the private development. They have a lot to learn about plutocracy.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:55 PM on December 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Can anyone translate any part of the video for us?
posted by uosuaq at 2:27 PM on December 3, 2012


I wouldn't be surprised if some Chinese netizens expressed the sentiment that this guy is being greedy and holding out for too much.

I'm absolutely certain of it.
posted by codswallop at 3:26 PM on December 3, 2012


Property is theft, symbioid. How dare those farmers think that their personal needs trump those of the collective state! The state DEMANDS another soulless, marble facade, hastily constructed housing block on that land!
as probably a white guy from brooklyn or something, let me tell you the ways in which you are mistaken about the nature of the CCP
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 4:10 PM on December 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Chutzler: "WAIT WAIT WAIT - I thought only Russians were communists."

No no no, only the Trots are the true Communists, the Soviet Union was a degenerated worker state, clearly!
posted by symbioid at 4:44 PM on December 3, 2012


I had assumed imminent domain was a universal/global concept practiced by all governments. Apparently, this isn't exactly true.
posted by el io at 5:08 PM on December 3, 2012


My friend the Asian Studies major calls China "The Wild East" due to its quasi-anarchic state of industrial society, which parallels the Wild West of early American history.

I do think there is truth to this. Although I don't know much about living in China, I have been known to suggest that living here in Korea (as a non-Korean) affords me a level of freedom that I don't believe I would have any more back in North America. There are certainly a lot of downsides, and it may just be me trying to retroactively justify the decisions I've made about where and how to live, but I do feel that way sometimes. It suits me, having grown up in a 'frontier' town of Northern British Columbia.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:09 PM on December 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


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