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Mass meeting

Protesting villagers in Guangdong province say only hope lies in central government

Locals in the protest-upturned town of Wukan, China, say a mass meeting has been convened with at least 5,000 people trying to work out a solution. The town, which erupted in mass protests over government land seizures, has effectively chased off its local government and has since been cut off from its fishing based and from vital food deliveries.

"The situation is really bad," one villager said by phone. "The roads are still blocked. We can't go out and no one from the outside can come in. We are relying on food storage but don't know how long it can sustain us. There is a mass meeting going on now to see what we shall do next"

Mass protests is far from unusual in China, with an estimated 180,000 uprisings each year, but Wukan's upheaval is a new twist. The villager who spoke said locals are now hoping that Beijing will intervene to keep the situation from getting worse.

"Our only hope now is that the central government will send people down here to help us," he said. "Give us back our lands and put the corrupt government officials in jail."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/mass-meeting