Protester Crushed by a Steamroller in the Name of Progress

This is one of the most shocking stories I’ve come across since I started blogging about China. And, of course, it comes right out of Changsha.

A day after the massive, state-supported, anti-Japanese protests rocked Changsha on the 15th, another, one-man protest ended in a grizzly murder by a city official. A man named He Zhi Hua was opposed to the government take-over of his property that was to be torn down for a new interstate. He and the city’s Vice Mayer exchanged blows and He, in a last desperate act, laid down in front of the steamroller and dared the official to run him over. Shockingly, the official did it! He was crushed in front of a crowd of people. The city officials then stole He’s body, denying the family the opportunity to give him a proper burial.

The next day, a much larger protest broke out and anywhere from 200-500 security officers were sent in to handcuff the protesters and confiscate their phones and cameras. Some pictures still got out though, and can be seen here, here, and here (warning: they are graphic). He’s daughter attempted to commit suicide by jumping in a river, but was rescued.

A sad and frightening story, and a stark reminder that protests are not allowed in China and that oppression of the lowly is alive and well.