Posted by: Dan Beucke on December 16, 2011 at 6:30 AM
The Occupy Wall Street protests in the U.S. are a delayed reaction to a bursting property bubble, which led to a jobs crisis and rising anger over financial influence and wealth disparity. What’s happening right now In China — angry protesters seizing a village and forcing Communist officials to retreat — is a dramatic example of what happens when a similar toxic mix plays out in a totalitarian society.
The protests in Wukan, a coastal village in Guangdong province, began three months ago over land seizures. They exploded this week after party officials tried to seal off Wukan with riot police, setting up roadblocks, blocking fishing boats, and beating residents. On Wednesday the party was forced to back down, saying it would halt a controversial real estate project and investigate local officials. The images out of Wukan are a startling contrast to the usual way Chinese officials manage to snuff out any sign of public discord.
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