In its major drive towards industrialization, the West Bengal (leftist) government has decided (May 16, 2006) to acquire 1,253 acres of agricultural lands at Singur (covering 11 villages) for the construction of a "Tata Motors" plant. The project affects more than 5000 families, however, the decision was made without any public consultation.
Actually there is un-arable land available for Tata but the company insists to take the fertile land which can turn into a real estate venture in the near future. The one time compensation is much lower than market price (52%) and is only available to male land owners, excluding women and agricultural labours.
The protest against the demolition of Star Ferry has been going on for four days. After the violent crack down by the police, protesters are now launching hunger strike.
In December 14, at the eve of the Ferry's 49 years anniversary, the demonstrators organized a peaceful candle night. When they moved to the front gate of the construction site, the police surrounded dozen of them with iron bar and arrested 11 of them under minor charges within the Police force ordinance, such as "obstructing public officers".
When compared with Ethan, I am always slow in blogging and reporting on conferences and meetings.
Have returned from New Delhi for a few days and caught up in the Star ferry and Queen's ferry conservation movement because of citizen reporting work in inmediahk.net. It is another example to point out that in social movement, activists and organizers usually prioritize the local to cross-border issue. Partly because the local is closer to us, partly because it is more difficult for us to develop enough knowledge for starting a dialogue.
Joel Martinsen at Danwei.org has briefed a recent Chinese media response to the alleged "Anti-China" sentiment of the West that was printed by the official Glabal People magazine. The magazine summarizes those western "attacks" as stemming from absurd theories like "China Threat", "China Collapse", "China Split" and "Yellow Peril".