Shanghai Police Remove Protesters Who Oppose Chemical Plant

28 Jun 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Shanghai Environmentalist Protests Results in Police Intervention.

Chinese police stand next to a roped-off plaza near the Shanghai Museum in Shanghai, Saturday, June 27, 2015. SHANGHAI — Police in China’s financial hub Shanghai took away at least three busloads of environmental protesters outside the municipal government Saturday, preventing the latest rally that started with a rumor that a petrochemical plant could move into the area.

Intensification of environmentalist protests prompted police from the Chinese city of Shanghai to forcefully evacuate a part of the protesters on Saturday morning, as the city’s middle and even high class citizens oppose the alleged construction of a new chemical plant in the Jinshan district. Concerned with public health but shut out of decision-making, more affluent Chinese are increasingly taking to the streets to oppose potentially hazardous projects such as petrochemical plants. Thousands of residents in the Shanghai suburb of Jinshan have been protesting outside the district government during the past week following the rumor about the plant. The concern was not dismissed even when local authorities have deemed the rumor to be untrue, and a rally was called for Saturday morning outside of Shanghai’s municipal government in the city’s centre.

However, police forces and SWAT teams were expecting them in front of the venue, fencing the area off and then forcing the protesters onto buses with which they were driven away from downtown Shanghai to an unknown destination. Paraxylene is used in the production of plastics and different fibers, and is quite hazardous when inhaled causing throat and nose irritation and eye sores. The protests initially started outside of Jinshan’s district government, with some residents claiming that they were ongoing for about a week, despite the fact that district authorities dismissed the rumor regarding the new plant on Monday.

Reuters correspondents from the Jinshan protests reported that district residents marched through the city while chanting against the possible factory. They also said that many residents at the protest cited distrust with the city’s government as the reason for continuing the protests despite assurance from the authorities. The Shanghai government announced Friday that it would cease any environmental assessment for the industrial zone — possibly meaning no new projects — and focus on cleaning up pollution. Others were concerned for the future of their children if pollution levels were to rise even more.China is the world’s largest paralyxene producer, with the substance being a vital part of its plastics and textile industries.

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