Wukan Sieged and Conquered
On 19 June, hundreds of residents in the southern fishing village of Wukan, Guangdong province, returned to the street five years after protests had flared up against official corruption and land grabbing. The protesting villagers demanded the release of Village Chief Lin Zuluan, who had been detained on 18 June for his persistent advocacy for land rights. Lin had been elected as chief of the village committee and Party secretary after he and others led a massive village protest in 2011 that secured a concession to hold democratic village elections. The land issue at the heart of the protest, however, had become increasingly difficult to resolve. Frustrated, Lin attempted to mobilise villagers to collectively petition the government, but he was detained shortly afterwards. Following the detention of his grandson and having been denied access to his lawyers, Lin confessed to bribery charges. After his confession was taped and broadcasted on state television, he was sentenced to thirty-seven months in prison. For almost three months, villagers held daily public demonstrations. On 13 September, riot police broke into the village to detain thirteen villagers accused of inciting a mob and disrupting public order. The police were met with resistance by villagers, and with many injured; however, since this time the protest has subsided.