Saturday, June 09, 2007

Xiamen protests

Residents of the wealthy coastal city of Xiamen turned out on June 1st and 2nd to protest the proposed construction of a petrochemical plant. Cellphone text messages circulated for days before the protest. Having thrown a bone to the protesters by saying that it would consider pulling the project, the government appears to be cracking down now. But one man has already caught the brunt.

Xiamen mayor Liu Cigui told reporters: “There are some people who have taken advantage of the people's attention to environmental issues, attention to this project, and taken inappropriate and even illegal actions."
According to the SCMP:
Rumours circulated that at least one person suspected of being a ringleader of peaceful marches was arrested at his home early yesterday.
Who was this man?

During the protest, citizen-blogger Cloudswander spotted a man at the head of the march wearing a Bao Diao t-shirt. It appears that this man is named Li Yiqiang (李义强), former head of the Xiamen branch of the China Federation for Defending the Diaoyu Islands.

Photos taken by Cloudswander

According to a fellow activist, Li Yiqiang was taken into custody on June 3rd and has not been released yet.

It also appears that Li Yiqiang acted on his own, without telling other Bao Diao activists of his plans. In fact, Li Yiqiang fell out with the CFDD following the March 2004 landing of seven Bao Diao activists on the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, which garnered fame for the participants but earned the enmity of the government, especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Related links:

2004 photo of Li Yiqiang

1 comment:

China Law Blog said...

Great post. Thanks for running this.