China: Luoding City, a western Guangdong city, has cancelled a plan to build an incinerator that prompted a protest of up to 10,000 people, during which three police cars were flipped over and a duty office was vandalised.
The Luoding city government posted two letters on its website announcing the decision. One informed the Langtang township government that it had decided to cancel the project, which Langtang had brokered with China Resources Cement Holdings. The second letter urged residents to stop blocking roads, vandalising property or disturbing public order.
The decision came after residents of the town engaged in a stand-off with police on 7 April 2015 in protest against what they said was the violent handling of a peaceful sit-in against the incinerator on 6 April 2015. "People are angry with the site selection of the incinerator as it is within a 1km radius of their homes," said one resident. "The cement plant is producing enough pollution, we don't need another polluter."
Residents said that about 1000 locals turned up to the sit-in on 6 April 2015, which took place outside a cement plant owned by China Resources. They have claimed that more than 100 men dressed in black and armed with batons, helmets and shields beat demonstrators. They said that the men were a mix of policemen and security guards. "My nephew is only 14 and is suffering from concussion after he was beaten by the men with batons," said one resident. "It was very brutal and totally unnecessary to use such force against unarmed civilians during a peaceful and rational demonstration, especially as they attacked children too."
Luoding city government claimed that 400 residents had taken part in the 7 April 2015 stand-off and denied that any had been injured. It said that "A small number of troublemakers instigated the crowd," to block roads and throw rocks at plant staff. Police arrested the 'troublemakers,' but 400 others gathered the next day, with some throwing rocks and glass bottles and vandalising police cars and the duty office, according to the Luoding city government.