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In one shaky mobile phone video, dozens of farmers armed with shovels lash out at people off camera. In another, an angry mob batters a corrugated iron fence round a development site. Further clips show a man lying injured on the ground and people shouting: "Call an ambulance."
Images of the violent conflicts in the village of Xujiancheng in Hebei province earlier this year were given to the Guardian last week by residents who want to draw the Chinese government's attention to what they say is a fight for their legal rights and the nation's food security.
The villagers are involved i
Propaganda officials at Baigou township, which oversees this area about two hours' drive from Beijing, and a local development office either declined to respond to these accusations or said they were unaware of any conflict.
Stories of forced evictions and bloody protests in rural China have been commonplace in recent years as cities sprawl outwards and more land is needed for industrial parks, housing blocks, roads and railways.
Many farmers believe local officials are in cahoots with developers to cheat them of fair compensation and a share of the surge in the land's value when it is recategorised for commercial use. This is a common complaint among the protesters in Xujiancheng, who have smashed the windows in the developer's office, torn down walls erected round their requisitioned farmland and spread protest banners across fences near the building site. In the fiercest protests in January, they carried two empty coffins to the frontline to show their willingness to die.
Originally posted by spacedonk
Chinese villagers driven off land fear food may run out