Family Attempts Suicide in Housing Dispute
Chinese protesters: The government destroyed our home
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2014 3:27 PM CDT
Demolishing a house in China.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Twelve people in China have highlighted their grievances by swallowing pesticide in public and falling to the ground, frothing at the mouth, the Telegraph reports. In one incident, a group of seven people from Jiangsu province (all from the same family, says the Daily Mail) went outside a newspaper office in Beijing Wednesday morning and drank the pesticide. One told a journalist from the state-run paper that they were protesting against local officials who had thrown them off their property and destroyed their home five years ago. They received little or no compensation, depending on which report you read.

"We had no other option but to resort to this to make ourselves heard," said the wife of a 58-year-old protester. "We’ve been driven to homelessness. We’ve been driven into a corner—the government gave us no way out." She said her husband had gone to Nanjing to protest and was tossed into an illegal "black jail" for three days without sleep, food, or water. In another incident, five protesters came to Beijing and drank pesticide over a complaint that wasn't reported. Among the first protesters, four are still in life-threatening condition, but nothing is known of the latter five. Petitioning goes back centuries in China, where millions of people travel to Beijing every year to voice grievances, but rarely make headway with officials.

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Showing 3 of 16 comments
Sep 3, 2014 6:39 PM CDT
In the USA you can also find yourself out of your house. Here the problem is "Professional Squatters". Go on vacation for a week and you come back with the locks changed and someone else living in the house. The laws protect the current occupant so you have to somehow convince the powers to be that you are not just trying to eject some renters. False documents and all that stuff that these Professional Squatters generate make it a big up hill climb for you to make a convincing case. Most of these professionals are Illegal Aliens who in the mind of our government are innocent and can do no wrong.
Jul 25, 2014 3:06 PM CDT
Jul 21, 2014 5:53 AM CDT
A protest that "wasn't reported." Happens here too. If the media is indifferent or hostile toward your cause, it ignores you. Last year I attended something called "The Black March for Jobs" in D.C. 4,000 people attended, and members of Congress spoke at it. It got almost no media coverage. But a demonstration for Trayvon Martin eight blocks away at the Justice Department got plenty. And only about 150 attended that.....