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School Forces Students To Participate in Forced Demolition

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From KDNET:

Guiyang Forces 2500 Middle School Students Falsely Dressed As SWAT Police to Participate in Forced Demolition

Guiyang government stated: “2013 October 12, over 2500 people from the Guanshanhu District municipal law enforcement, public security, etc. participated in the demolition of 51 illegal buildings at Jinghua Village, with a total demolished area of 72,243 square meters.

In the 2500-person forced demolition army, the vast majority were local middle school students, who were forced to wear black SWAT police uniforms in order to look like SWAT police were participating in the forced demolition. Some students even wore military training uniforms to appear as public security officers.

The students say they were under orders from the school’s leaders, and they could not refuse.

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Comments on KDNET:

heilvwangzi:

Compared to sending real SWAT police, this saved a lot of money.

天心阁:

This reminded me of the Red Guards back in the days

famei:

Shameless government official corruption.

一家仨胖子:

Sheep in wolf’s clothing, poor sheep.

河边走:

The era of mass demolition.

海的南边:

What kind of country is this? Is this a legitimate government in power or a band of criminals in power?

只要人人都献:

Whose lousy idea was this, even taking the students hostage! Killing the school principal and education department chief [for this] wouldn’t be too extreme!

黑暗睡眠精灵:

When I was in the police academy, there were many such “events/activities”, although not doing things like this, haha. Some people would volunteer for it.

紫狼星主:

Where did the uniforms come from? Posing as police is illegal, wearing fake uniform is also illegal. If these were costumes, then who footed the bill?

From Sina Weibo:

@网易新闻客户端: Guiyang School Accused of Ordering Students to Pose as SWAT Police in Forced Demolition, Responds Claiming It is Just a False Rumor: Previously, Hong Kong media reports claimed that Guiyang students posed as SWAT police during a forced demolition. Recently, reports about “Guiyang Guihang Technical School Forces 2500 Middle School Students Falsely Dressed As SWAT Police to Participate in Forced Demolition” have been circulating on the internet. Today, Guihang Technical School made a announced that the school did not compel students to participate in the forced demolition and reserves the right to seek seek legal prosecution against the rumor-monger. http://t.cn/zRtEtJU

The school in question made a public statement responding to the story and images circulating online claiming that it is a false rumor framing the school by attaching its name to unrelated photographs. The statement denied the school forced students to participate in the forced demolition, “much less the accusation of dispatching 2500 of them”; called on the school’s teachers, students, and employees to vigorously defend the school’s reputation; and that the school reserves the right to pursue legal prosecution against the individuals or organizations spreading the rumor.

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A representative for the school said students at the school may participate in community service events/activities but the school “certainly” did not participate in this activity.

UPDATE:

Guiyang 837 College Students Temporarily Transferred to Participate in Demolition of Illegal Buildings, Paid 80 Yuan for Half-Day

According to the above titled news article published earlier today on NetEase and syndicated from Xinhua, the Guiyang city government has confirmed that 837 of the 2671 total people organized were college and university students recruited from nearby, and has also called the individuals and organizations who initially denied the existence of students participating in the demolition of illegal buildings “irresponsible” for “not sufficiently verifying the facts”.

At present, the Guiyang Municipal Party Committee and municipal government have already tasked the relevant departments with launching procedures for apportioning blame against the responsible departments and individuals.

Several government officials involved have been removed from their positions.

According to an investigation by a reporter for the newspaper The Beijing News, recruiting students has become a common practice in large-scale demolition projects in Guiyang. One student who wished to remain anonymous says she and her classmates have already participated in six such projects over the past five months, including the one reported above. The number of students range from as low as a hundred to over a thousand, with the average pay being 80 RMB with an additional 10 RMB as the starting point for overtime.

The recruitment notices students respond to typically describe a “large event” or “assembly” that needs people for “maintaining security”. While many first-timers only realize it is for demolition of buildings after being bused to the site, students over time have come to associate “maintaining security” with maintaining order at the scene of forced demolitions where residents may pose violent resistance. Reportedly, without any self-defense training or weapons, the students are instructed not to get involved should any actual violence occur.

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It turns out, the recruitment of students may involve four levels of sub-contracting. The city government contracts the security work to a local security company. Then the security company apparently notifies a man who has recruited student recruiters. It is the student recruiters who in turn spread the recruitment notices amongst the student body and themselves earn a margin over the 80 RMB paid to the student participants. Each level takes a cut. Still, the job is seen as attractive by the participating students given that most other part-time jobs offer lower pay and often much more actual work. “Maintaining security” only requires them to “stand, squat, or even find a tree to sit under.”

The comments section is currently disabled on this NetEase article.

Written by Joe

Joe is a documentary producer and journalist based in Shanghai

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