60 y.o. Chinese environmentalist beaten by mob of 40 men

As I said the other day, being an environmentalist in China is not easy and potentially bad for your health. A mob reportedly beat up a local environmentalist who called for government officials to swim in a heavily polluted river in China.

We’d written about the river’s plight a week ago (check out the photo of the river to the right).

Interestingly, the man who was assaulted was not the local business person who offered big money ($32,000) to a government environmental official if he’d swim in the polluted river, but instead they targeted a 60 year old activist who had backed the call.

We’re not immune “to two weights, two measures” in the US either (e.g., Wall Street getting away with economic destruction, while the little guy pays the price) but for the most part, it doesn’t involve street violence.

It looks like someone is not interested in cleaning up the river.

Polluted river in China

Polluted river in China

“My father was alone at home,” said 32-year-old Chen Xiufang. “Some 40 people turned up in plain clothes, some holding batons. The only thing they said was: “[You] used the internet, you always use the internet!”

“The whole thing lasted four or five hours until the police arrived. My father got hit in the head by six or seven people, with their fists. He is now feeling dizzy and sleeping all the time,” she added, claiming the attack had been orchestrated by local officials.

Calls to the mobile phone of the local Communist Party chief went unanswered on Wednesday.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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  • Naja pallida

    We’re heading that way fast… only with more guns.

  • goulo

    I foresee life as a meme for the bizarre “[You] used the internet, you always use the internet!” said by the mob.

    Vaguely reminiscent of Dan Rather getting punched while being asked “Kenneth, what is the frequency?”

  • Bill_Perdue

    China’s path to prosperity and national independence has been betrayed at every juncture by the CCP, a rancid collection of Stalinist’s and Maoist’s with a choke hold on government. They’re not plutocrats like Democrats and Republicans here but they might as well be.

    It’s almost inevitable at this point that they’ll follow the Russian Stalinisit’s and try to liquidate the extremely deformed Chinese workers state and reintroduce capitalist norms. .

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    China: everything old is new again. In spite of its ritzy, world class cities China is still a backward hell hole of human abuse and explotation.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    That’s exactly what I was thinking. Except it’s not that far off.

    Consider what happens whenever someone stands up as an object case for any kind of social reform — like that family without health insurance, who then had to endure harassment for weeks. “OMG, they have granite countertops! Fraud!” Or that guy in Newtown CT getting death threats because he took in a bus driver and a bunch of kids after the school shooting massacre. (Heck, right anybody who gets national attention in advocating for any gun control laws gets death threats now.) Or the very real danger anybody involved in providing safe & legal abortions has to face every day.

    Or let’s get closer to the topic at hand: How many perfectly peaceful environmental activist groups have been investigated by the FBI in recent years as possible eco-terrorism suspects?

  • nicho

    We can expect that here — and worse — when the Teabaggers and gun nuts are in control.

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