Migrant Workers Riot in Southern China

Migrant Workers Riot in Southern China


Tensions remain high in southern China after police struggled to contain riots by hundreds of migrant workers over several days in a city near Guangzhou.

The violence started in Zengcheng after a young pregnant street hawker was harassed by security guards, media reports said on Monday. Twenty-year-old Wang Lianmei was apparently pushed to the ground by one security guard trying to clear her off the streets.

Hong Kong television showed seething crowds of migrant workers from the southwestern province of Sichuan running through the streets of Zengcheng, smashing windows, setting fire to government buildings and overturning police vehicles.

Riot police were shown firing tear gas on Sunday night, deploying armored vehicles to disperse the crowds and handcuffing protesters.

Witnesses said there were more than one thousand protesters and at least one government office had been besieged.

Thousands of riots, protests and other forms of unrest break out across China each year over problems ranging from rampant inflation to corruption, a big wealth gap, industrial pollution, forced demolitions and abuse of power.

The Chinese Communist Party maintains strict political and media controls to quash any form of organized dissent

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