10 December, 2005

happy b-day human rights declaration

Agam’s Gecko has a thoroughly good wrap-up of mainstream press coverage of the situation in Dongzhou village, and a birthday message for a toothless document.

HrchinaHappy birthday, Universal Declaration of Human Rights! Today is a big day for you — your 57th birthday! Although it seems you were misnamed at birth, as there was nothing particularly universal about you either then or now. Human rights are universal, the Declaration was, and is not so. Mrs. Roosevelt and the many other of your laudable parents may have better given you the grand, all-encompassing term as a middle name instead. The Declaration of Universal Human Rights would sound more suitable for you.

As if to mark the special day (along with Mr. el Baradei getting his Peace Prize), the Chinese Communist Party has held a special event this week. For the first time since the Beijing Massacre of 1989, Chinese police have shot and killed a number of village protesters in southern Guangdong province. Dongzhou village, a small town near the city of Shanwei had seen public protests in recent weeks over confiscation of property by the government for the purposes of industrial development, offering the villagers only meager compensation. One fellow quipped that “it wasn’t even enough to buy toilet paper.”

UPDATE: ESWN has a very thorough roundup of articles.

More at Timur-I-Leng (multiple entries), Anton Traversa, Peking Duck,

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by @ 8:41 pm. Filed under China, Asia, Coming collapse, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Riot watch

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