Someone send this to Andy Stern so he can tell us more about the superiority of the Chinese "model.
For the first time on record, the Chinese Communist party has lost all control, with the population of 20,000 in this southern fishing village now in open revolt.
The last of Wukan's dozen party officials fled on Monday after thousands of people blocked armed police from retaking the village, standing firm against tear gas and water cannons.
Since then, the police have retreated to a roadblock, some three miles away, in order to prevent food and water from entering, and villagers from leaving. Wukan's fishing fleet, its main source of income, has also been stopped from leaving harbour.
The plan appears to be to lay siege to Wukan and choke a rebellion which began three months ago when an angry mob, incensed at having the village's land sold off, rampaged through the streets and overturned cars.
Although China suffers an estimated 180,000 "mass incidents" a year, it is unheard of for the Party to sound a retreat.
The standoff in Wukan is the latest in a series of protests that have sparked concern among senior Communist Party leaders that the mishandling of disputes over land and outrage over incidents such as tainted baby formula are eroding their claim to power. Zhou Yongkang, a member the Politburo Standing Committee, China's highest decision making body, has twice this month called for social disputes to be handled with care.
The government of the city of Lufeng, which holds jurisdiction over Wukan, yesterday issued a statement on its website denying responsibility for the death of the man taken into police custody for allegedly leading protests in the village. Xue Jinbo died on Dec. 11 due to heart failure, according to the statement. An initial investigation had also ruled out other causes of death, it said.
The situation had been building for months:
Villagers first protested in September, when they broke into local government offices, police stations and destroyed six police cars, Xinhua reported. The violent demonstrations were sparked by issues including land use, financing and the election of local officials, Xinhua reported. Two officials were fired following the unrest, according to Xinhua.
The government then asked local villagers to appoint 13 residents to mediate the dispute, the Telegraph reported. On Dec. 9, five of the 13 people appointed to mediate were detained by men in plain clothes, according to the report.
That's one of the oldest commie tricks in the book; ask the troublemakers to appoint representatives to talk to authorities - usually the ringleaders - and then make the leaders disappear.
I can see where Andy Stern thinks this model is superior. Just think of the possibilities if Obama were to simply blockade those areas that opposed him. He's win re-election in a landslide.