Friday, April 1, 2011

The Twilight Zone: Thugs Do Demolition

Just when you think, okay, I can adjust to this strange land. Things are not so different here. People are not so different around the world--we all want the same thing. Just when you think, nothing can surprise me...not even the sandstorm that darkened the skies yesterday, not even the car coming the wrong way up my one-way street. Just then, you read the news and, oh boy, you wonder where on Earth you are:
Liu Shuxiang, 50, was buried under the rubble of a collapsed building when dozens of excavators and several hundred gangsters holding sticks torn down 14 dormitory buildings of Changchun Film Studio on March 26 in Changchun, capital of Jilin Province...Some residents were dragged out of the buildings by the thugs, who didn't have enough time to remove Liu from her apartment. (Forced demolition death sparks an investigation)
This is the kind of story that the expression, "What the fuck?" was invented for. I mean, it says hundreds of gangsters holding sticks. FUBAR.

It also says, "Officers at the local police station told the newspaper they weren't aware of the incident or the victim."

In Beijing last weekend, walking toward the Temple of Heaven, I watched a car flip over and the bloodied teenager crawl out. I watched the whole thing (from screeching wheels to final resting place) with a suspended sense of disbelief and then plodded slowly down the sidewalk to the car to make sure he was okay. A crowd had gathered, but the police did not come...and did not come. Now, this was Beijing. You cannot walk a minute without seeing a police officer in a grey, a dark blue, or a light blue uniform (three layers of public safety officers to keep you safe); however, when somebody is actually in need of a doctor...


  1. This story is a more complete rendition of the events and also offers some other reactions: It is a good thing that Hu Jintao is increasingly calling for the rule of law. Maybe that will effect a change in the response to some of these mass protests.

  2. OK shit happens. When you get rule of law they arrest peaceful protest. Aside from that I want to know if you see laundry lines over there.

  3. I have heard stories like this time after time again from my other friend who was there for many years. Like the man on a bike who was hit by a car. He crawled to sit under a tree to wait for an ambulance? He died there under the tree, three days later.

  4. I remember seeing a dead man hanging out of the cracked windshield of his truck in Beijing while cars drove by. No one stopped, no police, no ambulance. I also was in a cab once in Beijing with a former boyfriend when we passed a guy on a bike who had been hit by a motorbike and was lying on the sidewalk, bleeding profusely from his head. We ordered the cab to stop and jumped out to help him. The taxi we were in left, and it took us another 1/2 hr to hail a taxi who would stop and tale the 3 of us to a hospital. My boyfriend had to carry this guy into the hospital and lay him on an empty bed. Then the Dr there said they could not see him so we had to carry him out and hail a taxi to another hospital. It was pretty traumatic.


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