Another search on Chinese video sharing site Tudou for the word protest today brings this video uploaded May 24 and entitled ‘Xinhua Adult Education Institute, Students Cheated, Protest!’ in which students can be seen blocking a road and traffic backed up into the background:
Which led to this video of a smashed-up police station:
本人是安徽新华电脑学院合肥 大学部 06届 数字媒体专业学生
Until now this school has been unable to fulfill all the promises it made to us when we came here. Now it's given rise to a large-scale riot so big in scale it's hard to imagine.
At the time we came to this school, they told us we would be be granted graduation diplomas from Jiangsu University. They've still yet to follow through. What they gave us were graduation certificates from the Xinhua Institute school for adult education, equivalent to a high school level polytechnic diploma. This is one.
今天下下午二点十五分时。由本学院数字媒体专业。05 06 届学生为首。派每班带班长为代表想同学校协商解决。但是学校没有一个人出面。
At around 2:25, with still nobody having shown up, the entire school for digital media walked out of the school and onto the road in front of campus (which happens to be the main traffic corridor in Hefei) and held a demonstration.
We closed the road, blocking all cars, creating a traffic jam. Cars were lined back for over ten kilometers.
During the meeting of student representatives, one woman smashed a bottle.
As cameras are all still being used down at the scene,
Unable to provide everybody with firsthand images.
As long as the riot continues I'll keep everyone updated.
Please everyone pay close attention.
作者：si cheng 2007-6-1 8:25:00
A look through the Google results for the name of the school and ‘students have been cheated’ brings back 167,000 results, but going through the first two pages thereof shows bbs postings mentioning the incident have been deleted off China.com (NASDAQ: CHINA), the Phoenix TV BBS, a Nanjing BBS, a consumer group website, a MOP forum—one of the biggest in China, Yahoo! China's bbs, Dahe,
a Chinese education forum and shouxian bbs.
Then in the order in which they appeared on Google, here are some of the eyewitness reports which have not or will not be deleted. First in line—a blog! Little Cloud's, which dated May 27 confirms what the anonymous writer wrote above, that students had blocked off a road by 3 pm on the 22nd, saying police, journalists and several local tv crews arrived at the scene shortly after, but claiming that Xinhua had leaned on its connections to get the story killed:
Starting at 9:30 rioting began and continued steady for around another four hours! Institute administration were all in their office having a meeting, discussing countermeasures, but it didn't work! Then the Anhui provincial education minister showed up ad the school and around midnight a statement was issued to the students! (because I wasn't at the speech, I didn't hear what was said! but in the morning before class [the next day] there were notices everywhere, mostly just saying that each class needed to send two representatives to the multipurpose room to give the administration their demands)
More at the 9158 bbs from user aqzhangyu, writing just after noon on May 24:
When I came to Xinhua they told use that we would get diplomas from Jiangsu University but then when after finals were over they told us we would be getting Xinhua Adult Education Institute certificates. We were so pissed off at the time!
Overall, Xinhua is nothing more than a prison which tricks people to get them in. There's no electricity in the women's dorms and they only have two hours electricity every day. The food in the cafeteria is so expensive it kills, and it tastes bad too.
就是为了不发大专毕业证引起的第2次爆动 其后果比第一次更严重 学校大门被推倒，学校被砸烂。暴动还在进行中。
The riot has stayed noisy throughout. Before one wave ends another picks up. On May 23 (day 2 of the riots) at around 3 in the afternoon, the digital media and art & design students gathered in front of the school's main gate, bringing all traffic to a complete halt. Very chaotic.
According to what this writer has learned, the reason students blocked the road might have to do with the discrepancy between the ultimate graduation diplomas and the ones students were promised, leaving all students unsatisfied and looking for the administration to fix the problem. It seems they were refused though, because emotions just swelled before people decided to go block the road.
The key reason, though, this writer is still looking into. There are two situations being spread around:
When students entered the school they were told by administration that they would be granted associate degrees from Jiangsu University, but just before the final examinations the administration suddenly told students that two majors (digital media and art & design) would be getting Xinhua Institute certificates. At the time the students held a small-scale protest but the administration mediated before it turned ugly. But as graduation drew closer, they were told they wouldn't be getting associate degrees, but applied computer certificates. Students seemed uhappy to hear this and then things all got ugly.
Similar to the first, only that a new discrepancy appeared in regards to the diplomas. The rumor was that they wouldn't be getting junior college credentials but technical school credentials at the high school level. Students didn't take this lightly; they had paid several tens of thousands of Yuan after all, and not for high school level certification. Nothing they said seemed to have any effect so they went out and held a roadblock to uphold their own interests. I hope they get the right authorities’ attention.
A thread at the Netease education forum started by user qwf1986520 on May 25 tells roughly the same story, adding some details such the power being turned on just before midnight on the 22nd in the 30 degree weather, that around 2000 students spent 4 hours blocking the road on the afternoon of the 23rd starting at 1pm and that roughly 1000 students were blocked halfway during a march to city hall on the 24th. Five hundred allegedly began a silent seated protest and shortly after police began hitting students. Towards the end it's mentioned that mention of the story is being censored online and in traditional media.
There's some news from the education department: the Xinhua Adult Education Institute has violated the law in at least five places.
Inside story (reliability: 75%): One of Xinhua's largest shareholders is closely connected to Jiang Zemin‘s little sister Jiang Zehui. And Jiang Zehui herself has spent some time in Anhui but later for reasons I don't know was transferred back to Beijing. I believe Jiang Zehui herself and Xinhua are intimately connected!!
Above is what's being reported.
How the incident was resolved: on the 25th it came out that the two majors were allowed to appeal and have been given three choices.
1) Continue studying but do not receive a diploma for past studies, only for future studies and receive compensation of 3,000 yuan.
2) Immediately withdraw and the school will refund half your tuition (according to the tuition you paid) No diploma.
3) Two years of credit become one year and no diploma will be awarded but a 60% tuition refund will be given.
Accompanying aqzhangyu's report at the 9158 bbs was a post from user zhaiweiwei6636 which showed these photos: