Planned trash plant sparks protests in southern China

  • AFP, Shanghai
  • Updated: Sep 14, 2014 10:27 IST

Thousands of people gathered Sunday in southern China to protest against a proposed trash incinerator, participants said, the latest in a series of demonstrations over the feared health impact from development projects.

More than a thousand people took to the streets on Saturday, blocking traffic and prompting police to detain 24, over plans for an incinerator which would convert trash to electric power in Boluo county, Guangdong province, the local government and police said in separate statements.

On Sunday, thousands gathered again in a public plaza, demonstrators said.

"We are on the square right now, at least four to five thousand people gathering here before a march," one told AFP by phone.

The protestor, who declined to give his name, said Saturday's demonstration was largely peaceful but some students were hit by police.

Another protestor told AFP they would march to the offices of the county government on Sunday.

In a statement issued late on Saturday, the local police warned people against participating in "illegal gatherings" and urged them to abide by the law. Authorities detained 24 people for investigation on Saturday but later released eight, the police said.

The local government described Saturday's protest as "generally stable" and pledged to listen to public opinion before going ahead with the project, which it described as part of a proposed ecological park.

Photos circulating on social media showed crowds of protestors carrying banners marching on the street on Saturday, as well as lines of riot police.

In May, at least 39 people were injured and 60 detained in a violent protest over a waste incinerator in Hangzhou city, a project which local officials later suspended.

Police also detained 18 people over massive rallies opposing a chemical plant in Maoming, also in Guangdong, after thousands of demonstrators took to the streets for days of protests in March this year.

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