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The Kunming Mass Incident

Here are some perspectives on the same event.

(NetEase)   March 27, 2010.

Today, the Wuhua district government of Kunming city issued a timely press release about the clash that was triggered when urban administrators attempted to clear out street vendors who were occupying public space.

During the evening of March 26 and early moning on March 27 in front of the Agricultural Produce Market in front of Hongyun Road in Beicang village, Wuhua district, the urban administraors had a conflict with business operators who were illegally occupying the public passageway.  This drew a crowd of spectators who did not know the truth and led to a clash.  After the incident, the Wuhua Communist Party Committee and the Wuhua district goverment leaders paid a high degree of attention and rushed to the scene immediately.  At present, the matter is being effectively dealt with.  Various work is being carried out in an orderly manner with no more new incidents.

The details of the incident are as follows: At 20:15pm on March 26, the Kunming city combined law enforcement's Hongyun division of Wuhua district was conducted a routine inspection within its juristiction.  They arrived at the passageway in front of the market where there were usually vendors taking up public space.   Previously, they had publicized several times for people not to congregate there.   But on this occasion, they found four illegal stalls taking up street space.   The law enforcement personnel enforced the law.  Three of the four illegal operators acknowledged the fine, but the fourth one (56-year-old female named Yang Shengxiu) who operated from a tricycle refused to be fined.  The law enforcement personnel therefore detained the tricycle in accordance with the law.  Yang tried to get away on her tricycle.  During the struggle, she fell down on the ground.   Immediately, some spectators began to yell, "The urban administrators have killed someone!"  This caused an emotionally aroused crowd to assemble quickly.   To prevent the incident from escalating, the urban administrators called the public security bureau (the time was around 20:35pm) and also summoned an ambulance to the scene.   The police came to restore order.  They questioned the principals and patiently told the crowd to disperse.  The ambulance came and took Yang Shengxiu to the hospital.

However, some of the spectators did not pay heed to the police.  They continued to attack the urban administrators, the police and their vehicles.  Nine vehicles belonging to the urban administrators were overturned, with three of them being set on fire.  Fortunately, the fires were put out quickly without too much damage.  Four police cars had their windows broken and one police car was overturned.  During this time, nine urban administrators and four police officers were injured.

During the incident, the police advised the spectators to leave.  But even after thirty minutes of appeal by the police, the crowd refused to leave.  The police and urban administrators showed a high degree of restraint and tolerance.  At 0:50am on March 27, the crowd threw a large number of rocks at the police and urban administrators, as well as charging at them.  Traffic and public safety conditions fell into chaos.  In order to rescue the injured people as well as restore order, the police used force in accordance with the law and took forty people who were engaged in "assault, vandalism and arson" away for questioning.  By 2am or so, order was restored.  According to the preliminary results of the hospital examination, Yang Shengxiu is in normal condition.  The injured persons are also being treated at the hospital.

During the incident, a middle-aged person refused to heed police advice and forcibly crossed the police line.  The law enforcement officers at the scene restrained him by force in accordance with the law.  The preliminary examination showed that this man suffered soft tissue damage on this body.  It has been confirmed that this man is a reporter for the Shenghuo Xinbao newspaper.

The Wuhua district goverment will issue timely reports to the news media on progress in the investigation of the matter.

(Shenghuo Xinbao)  March 27, 2010.

Yesterday at about 20:00 in front of the Beicang Agricultural Produce Market, Wuhua urban administrators and vendors clashed.  The incident slowly escalated as the crowd surrounded the vehicles of the law enforcement officers, used rocks and sticks to smash the vehicles and upended the vehicles.   Seven urban administration vehicles and one silver Honda sedan were vandalized.   Two of the urban administration vehicles were set on fire.  Fortunately, the fire department put out those fires.  When the police received the reports, they came to the scene.  The scene calmed down by 2:50am.  The police said that the number of injured persons is still unknown but they are investigating.

"Four uniformed persons came out of the car.   Three men and one woman.  As soon as they got out, they immediately overturned the vehicle that was selling deep-fried potatos."  Mr. Zhang who sold vegetables at the Beicang Agricultural Produce Market said.  The old lady who fried potatos regularly sells by the roadside of the market.  At around 8pm, a Wuhua urban administration car came and stopped in front of the market entrance.  Several uniformed persons got out with black batons in hand.  They immediately overturned the pototo stand.  After some confusion, Mr. Zhang saw the old woman lying on the ground.

According to information, the injured old woman comes from Sichuan province.  She and her husband often sell deep-friend potatoes from a tricycle.  "Even though the old lady's tricycle was taking up public space, the law enforcement officers should have spoken to her first instead of just overturning the stand as soon as they showed up.  This was too much violence."  The villagers said.  "The old lady was lying hurt on the ground and the urban administrators got ready to depart.  The spectators prevented the car from leaving and demanded that the urban administrators take the old lady to a hospital."   Mr. Zhang said.  This was how the clash between the masses and the urban administrators began.  The clash gradually escalated until vandalism and arson took place.

"The original incident took place at 20:00 or so.   By 21:00, the injured person was still not yet taken to the hospital.  Several hundred spectators were gathered at the scene and the situation escalated."  The injured person was sent to the hospital only after the police arrived.  By that time, the crowd was emotionally upset.  Some people began to throw rocks at the vhiecles while others swung sticks.

"I came to buy cigarettes around 21:00.  I saw many people gathered at the scene.  I did not know what was going on at first.   It was very chaotic at the scene.  The law enforcement people and the crowd were throwing rocks at each other."  According to Mr. Yang who lives nearby, the crowd used sticks to break the windows on the law enforcement vehicles.  Two cars caught fire, but the fire was put out by the firemen who arrived later.

At 0100 or so, the police set up a police line at Yinhe Avenue and Hongyun Road to stop cars from going through.  After issuing warnings, the anti-riot police squad confined the crowd in the Hongyun Road section by the Beicang Agricultural Produce Market.  The crowd occasionally emitted roars.  Sometimes, a rock would fly out of nowhere.

"It is dangerous here.  You better leave the scene immediately."  The police officers on duty told the reporters to leave.   Our reporter walked along a wall in the street.  Rocks kept falling by his feet.  There were several vehicles lying in the street.  One car with the letters "Wuhua urban administration" on the side lied upside down with broken window glass.  Two cars were blackened by fire and rested in a pool of dirty water.   At the intersection of Hongyun Road and Yinhe Avenue, an urban adminstration vehicle lied upside down.  There was a bamboo pole more than one meter in length lying next to that vehicle.  The pole must have been used vigorously, because there were cracks on it.

By 2:50, the situation was basically under control.   The crowd gradually dispersed and the police began to leave.  Our reporter spotted seven urban administration vehicles being towed away.  All of them had broken windows.  Another silver-colored Honda vehicle had its front dented.  More than a dozen people were taken away by the police.

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At the People's Liberation Army 533 Hospital, our reporter saw the injured old lady Yang Shengxiu.  55-year-old Yang Shengxiu was lying in bed.  She still did not seem quite coherent.  According to her, she was selling deep-fried potatoes from a tricyle near the Beicang Agricultural Produce Market.   Three or four urban administrators came at her and yelled at her.  Just as she was about to leave in her tricycle, a slightly obese urban administrator overturned her tricycle.  She was caught totally unawares and fell down on the ground.  The tricycle landed right on top of her.  The cannister of liquefied gas hit on on the head and she passed out.  When she came to, she felt pain all over her body.

According to Dr. Li of the People's Liberation Army 533 Hospital, Yang Shengxiu has multiple soft tissue injuries on her body, hypertension and some pain in the area around her heart.  The hospital was giving her oxygen and intravenous feed.  Since Yang Shengxiu was still not quite coherent, the hospital could not obtain information about her family.  The hospital was trying to contact her family.  Her vital signs are stable and she is alright for now.


Yesterday at around 11pm, our news center director Xiong Xiong learned about the clash at the Beicang Village Agricultural Produce Market and led another team of reporters to the scene.

At around 2:15, our reporter who was inside the police line suddenly heard loud shouts outside the police line.  He hurried over and saw our news centre director Xiong Xiong being beaten by five or six men carrying rubber truncheons and shields and wearing armbrands.  One of them was hitting Xiong Xiong on the head with his truncheon while the others hit him on the back and shoulders.   Xiong Xiong grabbed his head with his hand and kept yelling: "I am a reporter.   I am gathering news.  I am a reporter."  Our reporter Deng Jianhua went up to stop the beating while crying: "He is my boss.  I am a reporter from Shenghuo Xinbao.  You must not beat him.  A tall man with a baton, a shield and an armband used his sheild to push Deng Jianhua away while yelling: "This is none of your business."  Deng Jianhua rushed up once again and said: "You must not beat him."  The tall man pushed him away once again and threatened him with his baton: "If I tell you to make way, you make way."  Then he turned around and joined the others to continue beating Xiong Xiong.  Our other reporter Li Xi heard the commotion and also came over while showing her press pass.  She yelled: "We are newspaper reporters.  He is our boss.  You must not beat him."   But these people did not listen to her and pushed her aside.  Another reporter of ours Zhao Yong also identified himself, but they ignored him too.

The beating went on for more than a minute before the attackers dispersed.  Xiong Xiong was bleeding in the head and mouth.  He kept spitting out the blood in his mouth even as blood poured out from his head.  Our reporters call the 120 emergency service.

At 2:50 or so, an ambulance arrived and took Xiong Xiong to the hospital.  Another young man who was bleeding in the head was also taken to the hospital.  According to the young man, his name is Pan Yijun.  He was standing alongside Xiong Xiong and trying to see what was going one.  But several men wearing steel helmets and carrying batons came over.  "They told us to retreat even as they beat us.  They asked me whether I vandalized the vehicles.  I said that I was just a passerby but they still beat me."  Pan Yijun said that he stood outside the police line the whole time.  He was beaten outside the police line.   He said that he worked as a security guard in a company nearby and he got beaten on his way home after work.

After getting treatment at the hospital, Xiong Xiong said that at around 2:10, he saw a small girl crying on the ground in the middle of the road.   He wanted to go up and see.  He and the others did not go towards the police line.  Suddenly a group of people carrying batons, holding shields and wearing armbands came up and ordered them to retreat.  Xiong Xiong said, "Okay, we'll retreat."  At that moment, he spooted one person swinging a club at his head.   He turned around and held his head with his hands while saying: "I am a reporter.  I am a reporter."  But these people ignored his pleas, pushed him onto the ground and hit him on his head and body.

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The preliminary examination at the hospital showed that Xiong Xiong sustained multiple contusions and bruises on his hands, arms, shoulders and back.  There were many soft tissues injuries all over this body.  His right cheek born sustained a bone injury.  The doctor recommended a formal judicial examination.

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(Xinmin Wang)  March 27, 2010.

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Last evening around 10pm, our hotline received a tip saying that there was a clash between urban administrators and a large number of people at Beicang Village in Kunming.  Our reporter hurried over to the scene of the incident by Yinhe Avenue.  Many police and urban adminstration vehicles were at the scene.   Several hundred people surrounded a mini-van while yelling: "The urban administrators who made the assault are inside the car!" "The perpetrators come out!" ... The police set up a perimeter.  Rocks and bricks were thrown from the crowd, hitting the mini-van.  The police attempted to stop the rock-throwing to no avail.

Our reporter learned from the police that an elderly person was injured around 7pm while the urban administrators were enforcing the law.   But this became "The urban administrators have killed someone!" among the crowd and thus caused the incident to escalte.

By 11pm or so, more and more spectators came.  A dozen or so uniformed persons carrying shields entered the police perimeter and spread themselves around the mini-van.  The van door opened and three urban administrators came out, including one female.

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Suddenly, someone in the crowd yelled: "They must not be allowed to depart!"  Then a large number of rocks came flying at the urban administrators.  Our reporter saw one urban administrator bleeding in his head and ready to leave the scene under the assistance of his comrades.  Suddenly, another group of people charged up to attempt to intercept them.  Several uniformed persons turned around and clashed with a middle-aged man.  There was chaos everywhere.

Someone yelled: "The urban administrators are beating people!"  Someone took a 1.5m long pole and began to hit the car windows.  The uniformed persons "retreated" down Yinhe Avenue in the southerly direction.  The reporter saw about 100 people pursuing them and throwing rocks, including some young women.  A police car was turned upside down on Yinhe Avenue.

One shield-wielding man did not run quickly enough and was knocked down on the ground by a dozen or so people.  "Don't hit him anymore.   He is going to die if he is beaten any further."  One of them said.   The crowd split and two persons took the injured person away.

Our reporter went back towards Beicang Village.   Four vehicles with the letters "Combined Law Enforcement" and "Wuhua Urban Administration" were overturned, one of them on fire.  The firemen who came later put out that fire.

The police imposed traffic restrictions on this section of the road.  Several dozen police officers and urban administrators gathered on the road.  A police vehicle continued to use a megaphone to tell the crowd to leave.

At around 1:40, our reporter observed several dozen handcuffed persons being taken out by the police from a sidestreet and loaded into police vans.  About twenty or so uniformed law enforcement officers withdrew from the scene.

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At around 1:50, a tow truck removed one of the overturned cars from the scene.

At around 2:30, many more uniformed law enforcement officers arrived at the scene.  A reporter from another newspaper was injured in the confusion.  The police and urban administration leaders at the scene declined to answer questions from the reporters.

By the time newspaper deadline was reached, the situation was under control.  Many police officers have left the scene.  The Kunming police indicated that they will actively deal with this manner.  They are conducting a preliminary investigation at this time.

At around 11:40 last night, our reporter learned from other channels that the injured elderly person was around 50 something years old and has been sent to the PLA 533 Hospital for treatment.  Our reporter went to the 533 Hospital, but the doctor on duty was not aware of any injured elderly person there.

A female doctor said that there was an injured elderly person, but she was not sure what the ward number was.  A male doctor on duty said that the injured person appeared to be from Sichuan.  About two hours ago, a group of police officers showed up at the hospital to look for an injured elderly person.   "I don't know what happened next."  Another doctor on duty said that they took in an injured patient in the emergency room, but he did not know where the patient was sent to.