Friday, January 06, 2006

China and Nonviolent Resistance

"I often remind myself that Ghandi and Martin Luther King would be anonymous martyrs, unsuccessful at affecting social change had they lived in China, Viet Nam, North Korea, Iran, or Cuba." - fightr4right, in a soapbox post.

Would they have been unsuccessful? Let's look at one recent protest in China, and the results:

-12/11/2005:"DONGZHOU, China - The commander of forces that shot and killed people protesting land seizures in a southern village has been detained, the Chinese government said Sunday, as police in riot gear patrolled the community and appealed for order...But the detention of such an official is almost unprecedented for the communist government and suggested Chinese leaders were trying to mollify angry villagers by announcing it...The government said the protests centered on land taken for use in building a power plant using wind turbines, though villagers said the dispute was over a different, coal-fired power plant...The official Xinhua News Agency said the province has formed a group to investigate complaints by Dongzhou villagers about land requisition and demands for more compensation." (from MSNBC)

At least in this one protest, it sounds like the Chinese government is bending a little to the people's will.

The same article also pointed out, "By the government’s count, China had more than 70,000 cases of rural unrest last year. Protests are growing more violent, with injuries on both sides."

Even a government the size of China cannot ignore that many protests.

In another article from Reuters, a Chinese rights activist by the name of Guo Feixiong had this to say: "If China is going to avoid increased bloodshed and instability, we must directly study Gandhi's methods of non-violent, active protest."

We may yet see whether Gandhi's methods would work in a country like China.

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