Where’s the outrage?

Bob Dole kept shouting that phrase, somewhat pathetically, throughout his campaign against our last real president, and it’s worth repeating in regard to that village none of us heard of until a couple of weeks ago, Dongzhou. Yes, I’m beating a dead horse, but this horse needs to be beaten. The news keeps getting scarier, and as usual, most people in the West don’t care: China’s just too far away, and it all seems too abstract. With Tiananmen Square, we had the drama of non-stop CNN newsfeeds. This time, all we have are eyewitness accounts offered in fear and anonymity. But this story needs to be told, and if we lose interest it’ll be repeated all to soon and swept once more under the convenient carpet of fading memories.

Dongzhou is the latest of the big CCP coverups. With each one, we are told by the believers that it was a turning point, and the future will be different. But this time, it’s all too obvious things have regressed in every way, and the openness we were promised Hu and Wen would deliver is as elusive as ever.

Inquiries last week established that the death toll in Dongzhou, near Shanwei city, on a night of violence on December 6 was closer to the 20 claimed by villagers than to the three acknowledged by the government.

An angry demonstration over compensation for land ended with village women on their knees, burning joss sticks as they pleaded with the police for the bodies of their menfolk.

Despite censorship and a ruthless dragnet for witnesses, villagers have communicated detailed allegations that people were mown down in a volley of automatic weapons fire, were murdered inside a police armoured vehicle and that some corpses were tossed into the sea. They also smuggled out photographs showing wounded victims lying on makeshift stretchers with blood pouring from apparent gunshot injuries to their heads and upper bodies.

There are persistent reports that even now secret police agents are offering money for hidden corpses and are trying to buy empty cartridge casings to suppress forensic evidence.

On December 6 the villagers took to the streets. Xinhua, the state news agency, said they had spears, knives, Molotov cocktails and dynamite.

“It’s untrue,” said a villager, speaking by phone. “We had just home-made fireworks.”

Whatever the truth, the official in charge, Wu Sheng, vice-director of the Shanwei Public Security Bureau, ordered his men to fire. He has since been detained by prosecutors. The state-controlled Guangzhou Daily said that he had “mishandled” the situation.

Several villagers spoke of 10 people mown down in one burst of fire and accounts on overseas Chinese websites said they had found eight to 10 bodies scattered on the grass afterwards.

“It was so brutal,”a man called Chen told the anti-communist Apple Daily newspaper in Hong Kong. “One villager was shot in the leg. He knelt down to beg for his life. But they dragged him over to a pile of grass and shot him twice.”

The testimony given by a villager to Grace Kei Lai-see, a reporter for the Cantonese service of Radio Free Asia, points to a killing frenzy.

“That night there were injured people who were dragged aboard police vehicles and shot to death,” the witness said. “The police then took the bodies to the crematorium near the beach but because there was no signature on the death certificates for cremation, they threw the bodies into the sea instead.

“This definitely happened. The bodies were discovered when they began to float.”

In accounts repeated over and over to journalists, villagers spoke of 13 or more bodies floating in the sea.

The determination of people to get their story across is building the “December 6 incident” into the biggest known loss of civilian life at the hands of the Chinese state since the Tiananmen massacre of June 1989.

How ironic that in his comparison of how different media were covering the Dongzhou story, eswn wrote the following:

The Epoch Times item at the bottom stands out from the rest. If everyone else refers to several hundred or more than 1,000 police officers, they say 2,000 to 3,000. If everybody else refers to three dead with names given, they say more than ten dead instead. If everybody else refers to tear gas canisters fired at close quarters as the cause of death, they say that the armed police sprayed the villagers with submachine gunfire instead.

The irony is, of course, that eswn was saying how ridiculous it would be for Epoch Times to say such things, when in fact those appear to be the very things that happened! (And I distruct Epoch Times as much as eswn does, by the way.) Yes, this was the real thing – rampant, ruthless murder of a large number of innocents and the bloodiest event in China (that we know of) since June 4, 1989. So where’s the outrage?

Apologies in advance, because I’m not through with this story yet, even though People’s Daily swears Dongzhou is now serene and peaceful, a happy, charming village where a few thugs once caused some trouble, but where joy and love and the success of China’s unique brand of socialism have once more succeeded in generating a strong bond of unity, harmony, stablity and love. And they all lived happily ever after.

Don’t lose the outrage.

The Discussion: 11 Comments

Too bad there aren’t any pictures. You would think with cell phones so ubiquitous some people can get photos out to the journalists.

December 19, 2005 @ 8:45 am | Comment

This Just in…

..Twelve days after the Dongzhou killings, the official Chinese news agency, Xinhua, has published its second story (the first had been rescinded shortly after it ran, suggesting uncertainly among propaganda officials on what spin to put on the incide…

December 19, 2005 @ 9:10 am | Comment

this should be easy to prove.

just show the name list and compare.

in TAM the govt did not show the namelist, so we never really know if they lie. not if epochtime can show a name that is not in the govt list, then the toll increase by one.

all epochtimes needs to do is to name the names.

very simple for us to judge.

December 19, 2005 @ 3:11 pm | Comment

if epochtimes name the names, then the names’ owner definitely will be in trouble. who will give him/her trouble? china govt!

not to reveal the name is a protection to the person who involved in this kind of cases.

what i concern most over this massacre(sorry, i call this case as “massacre” ) is not the death toll but the incentives of why those farmers go to demostration regardless of the potential risks. china govt have ignored the farmers’ interest since the founding of CCP’s regime.

December 19, 2005 @ 8:55 pm | Comment

I think everyone has gone on to focus their attention on more important things. Did you guys hear about the rise in GDP? Go China!
That was sarcastic.
I find it interesting that Sun Bin would put the burden of proof on the times to compile a name list. It’s a casual way of brushing off people’s death: “people died? Prove it. Give me their names.” What BS. I’d trust something on the Times much more than I’d trust anything that comes out of the mouths of this lying dehumanizing savage government.
Why not demand more proof when the Chinese media said that Japanese had partied down south in a hotel with 1000 hookers? No one asked for a list of names then. They just exploded into a blind rage. Are people really this gullible?
Comon sense can tell you that quite a lot of people died down there. The burden should be on the gov to come clean and really be rulers rather than just oppressors.

December 19, 2005 @ 11:04 pm | Comment

Thanks for stating the bloody obvious, Kevin

December 19, 2005 @ 11:42 pm | Comment

All responsible people should stay calm and trust the responsible news channels. Enjoy your happy life!

Today, gravity and all other laws of physics were still functioning 100 percent of the time, under the correct leadership of the Communist Party and Mao Ze Dong thought! We must keep the Communist Party in absolute power, to ensure stability in the laws of science!

Thank you, Communist Party! Thank you for making the sun come out today! (Now it’s time for some more Human Sacrifices to offer to the CCP God, or else the Sun might not come out tomorrow…..)

December 20, 2005 @ 5:30 am | Comment

Ivan: LOL

Kevin: Indeed, no one asks for evidence when something about foreigners behaving badly in China/towards China is in the news.

But if it’s Chinese people (especially the State) doing bad things, well then we need an argument so water-tight it would get Osama Bin-Laden off any terrorism charge……..

December 20, 2005 @ 12:25 pm | Comment

“I find it interesting that Sun Bin would put the burden of proof on the times to compile a name list. ”

Kevin, Sun Bin’s approach make perfect sense. To take your route, we have to make a list of all people who are still alive. Can you see how ridiculous it is?

The report from western media tends to be sensational, such as “dragging and shot alive”. The correct way should be to tell the villager’s side of story. What is in dispute? How much money is compensated? How much more is demanded by villagers?

Exaggeration will not bring justice. Instead, it will just turn people off.

December 20, 2005 @ 7:40 pm | Comment


Most of the non-Chinese newspapers HAVE been telling the villagers’ stories – that’s how they have any idea what’s going on. That’s also where they got the figures from.

Unlike the Chinese newspapers that haven’t had a single quote from any of the people there.

December 21, 2005 @ 8:23 am | Comment

“To take your route, we have to make a list of all people who are still alive.”
? Come again… I don’t see where I said that.
“Can you see how ridiculous it is?”
Yes, I can see how ridiculous your misunderstanding of my comment is.

December 22, 2005 @ 12:57 am | Comment

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