采访/易如 编辑/李谦 后制/周天
Shanghai Residents Oppose Battery Factory Plans
Recently, anti-pollution protests have been frequent in China. Protests occurred on May 1 and May 4. Shanghai residents also protested on Saturday, May 11. Thousands of protesters voiced their opposition against plans for a battery factory. Local authorities dispatched police, arresting many protestors. The following is our report.
A third protest against an automobile lithium battery factory in Songjiang District, Shanghai, took place on May 11. Protestors gathered on Zhongshan Road, Songjiang District with banners stating, “I love Songjiang and oppose pollution.”
Around a thousand of protestors reportedly participated in the event. A local resident believed the number of participants was far more than that.
Mr. Lee, Songjiang District protestor: “There were about two thousand to three thousand protestors. The whole intersection was occupied for more than 5 hours. The police forcibly pushed the people away from the roads. People who resisted were taken away.”
Mr. Lee was one of the participating protestors. He explained that police were dispatched to dispel the protestors. Many were arrested.
Mr. Lee: “I would say there were about two hundred to three hundred police. To me, quite frankly, those police were very bad. Their words were cruel and their attitudes were very bad.”
BBC Chinese reports indicated that people were protesting against an energy plan of Hefei Guoxuan High-tech Power Energy Co Ltd. It is planned for the factory conduct R&D, production and sales of lithium battery and power management systems. This will take place in Songjiang, Shanghai. Local residents were worried about environmental and health impacts of effluent discharge.
Earlier, Songjiang District government claimed the production line associated with pollution will be stopped. It declared safety of the production process through the official microblog on April 29. It did not ease concerns. Since May, local residents conducted three protests.
Ms. Wang, Songjiang District resident: “We are concerned for the next generation. We are getting old, but we are worried for the impact on the children. That factory is just like a time bomb.”
Protests in China are frequent these years. This is in conjunction with increasing awareness of pollution issues, and environmental protection. Thousands of protestors gathered in Kunming on May 4, voicing concerns over a local refinery project. Last July, tens of thousands of angry residents of Nantong, Jiangsu stormed into Qidong city hall. They were protesting over sewage released by Japan’s Oji Paper. 16 demonstrators were sentenced in February.
Hu Jia, Beijing activist: “The endless protests demonstrate two aspects. Firstly, the Government doesn’t do its job. It simply ignores it, and has no effective solution. It keeps things dragging on, and attacks protestors one by one.”
Beijing activist Hu Jia believes the endless protests also show that people cannot tolerate it any more.
Hu Jia: “Has it resolved any particular environmental issues? That is not a part of its system. So-called achievements of these projects have accumulated a lot of corruption and bribery. None of the officials will give up on those profits.”
Hu Jia stresses that environmental issues concern everyone and have great social impact. People will be mobilized quickly. People should support
each other over these issues, to protect their own civil rights.