Tens of thousands of people held a protest against the construction of a trash incineration plant in Xiantao, Hubei Province on June 25 and 26, 2016.
The local government mustered several thousand police to suppress the protestors, who were expressing their concerns about the environmental consequences of operating such a plant in their city. The local government had given a Hong Kong corporation approval to build the plant, despite the fact that similar trash incineration plants built by the company in other provinces caused grave pollution issues.
Police beat the protestors violently and many people were arrested. The government blocked news about the protest and the crackdown by cutting the local power supply and censoring the internet and radio. Netizens managed to post videos of the police violence online briefly before Chinese internet police removed them.
Persecution in Xiantao
The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) persecution of Falun Gong has lasted more than 17 years. At least five practitioners in Xiantao have died from the persecution, one is missing, and 11 have been sentenced to prison. Many have been detained in detention centers or incarcerated in labor camps. Two practitioners are still imprisoned, five are detained, and several have been forced to leave their homes to avoid further persecution.
The crackdown against the protestors in Xiantao and the persecution of Falun Gong highlight common threads regarding the CCP’s use of violence and lies.
The CCP Always Uses Violence to Suppress Peaceful Protests
The public protest in Xiantao was an appeal to the government to withdraw approval for the construction of a trash incineration plant for the sake of the local environment. Such an issue could be peacefully resolved if administrative officials were willing to listen to the public. But CCP officials instead resorted to violence to suppress the protestors.
Falun Gong teaches people to be good by following Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Because practicing Falun Gong helps improve health and morality, it quickly spread throughout China in the 1990s. Out of jealousy, Jiang Zemin, the then CCP leader, abused his power to initiate and maintain the state-sanctioned persecution of Falun Gong in July 1999. Many practitioners have been tortured to death. Many more have been imprisoned. The CCP even conducts state-sanctioned organ harvesting from live Falun Gong practitioners for lucrative profits.
Falun Gong practitioners are a group of kind-hearted people. Practitioners peacefully and reasonably call for justice and call on the CCP to stop the persecution as soon as possible.
Information Censorship via All State Apparatus Intends to Mislead the Public
Power outages and internet censorship, including key word filtering and barring video uploads, were applied in Xiantao on June 25, 2016.
Thousands of police continued the violent crackdown the next day, and the internet censorship escalated. The government deleted all videos, images, or news relevant to the violent suppression, leaving only the official propaganda report created by state-run media.
The CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong similarly involves intensive information censorship. The internet firewall was set up to censor and block all key words related to Falun Gong. Without circumventing the firewall, people in China cannot access authentic information about Falun Gong, only the government propaganda and slander.
The CCP enforces surveillance and suppression of those Falun Gong practitioners who dare to raise awareness of the persecution to the general public. At the same time, it attempts to cover up the facts of Falun Gong to mislead the public.
CCP Spreads Lies and Slander and Covers up the Truth
The local government enhanced internet censorship after the protest in Xiantao and published propaganda in state-controlled media, saying that the trash incineration plant will be high tech with low pollution. The truth is the Hong Kong corporation has already built highly toxic plants in other provinces that have seriously damaged the environment in those places.
The CCP conducts the persecution of Falun Gong with all state apparatus, including military hospitals. It spreads lies and slander against Falun Gong on a large scale, including defaming Falun Gong with falsified deaths. It staged the Tiananmen self-immolation incident to deceive all of China via state run media in 2001. The CCP-controlled media, including newspapers, magazines, TV, and radio stations, have carried the lies again and again to defame Falun Gong and mislead people in China and throughout the world.
The tens of thousands of Xiantao people who took part in the two-day protest forced the government to withdraw approval of the construction of the trash incineration plant. Without the protest, the government would have moved forward with the plant’s construction, and the people of Xiantao would have had to bear the pollution and other consequences.
Falun Gong practitioners have conducted peaceful protests for more than 17 years. Their kindness and courage have moved countless people. Many Chinese citizens are now actively resisting the persecution and calling for Jiang Zemin to be brought to justice.