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China: Violent BBQ crackdown backfires

A city on a hill, south-central China's Chongqing municipality seems to stand above many other places in the the country when it comes to using affordable technology to document things like crime and clashes, and getting it on the internet.

On the evening of September 4, a squadron of urban and economic law enforcers there attacked a man selling barbecued meats on the side of one street and one bystander put the photos she took of subsequent public backlash and torching of the authorities’ work vehicle up on one of China's largest internet forums. That post, it seems, was deleted, but not before another Chongqing resident and brief witness to the mass incident reposted the reporting—notice the timestamps—onto a smaller forum website. Except where noted, the words below come from the photographer herself:


Just after 11 last night I was heading home, and I spotted the following situation: at the time I didn't get out to take a look, the taxi was blocked by the police, so I only saw it from a distance; at that moment I only regretted that my cellphone camera has too low a resolution. But judging from my professional experience, this van had not spontaneously combusted, spontaneously-combusting vehicles don't tip over; and it wasn't a terror attack, terrorists only strike when there's lots of activity and people. My judgment was that this was possibly a criminal act, but then this morning I read the newspaper carefully, and noticed there were no reports; only then did I realize that this wasn't a normal crime which had been committed, so I opened up the Chongqing section on Tianya and, sure enough, I saw the following posts and photos!

[转帖]『重庆』 9月4日石桥铺暴动(有照片和视频。。。)

(Reposted) [Chongqing] September 4, Riot at Shiqiaopu (photos and video…)


On the evening of September 4 there was a riot at Sanjie Road in the Shiqiaopu Science and Technology Park; Urban Administration had maliciously beaten a street vendor, creating such dissatisfaction among the present crowd that city residents themselves began attacking them. The incident escalated into one Urban Administration vehicle being set on fire, and local citizens crowding around. The violent conflict continued to escalate and get worse.



Will this get deleted too? Whatever, I'll just put the photos up for now.



I want to see the video. Moderator, hurry and put it up.



What happened was basically this:

At the entrance to the Shiqiiaopu Science and Technology Park there is a small barbecue vendor stall. At around seven pm, the Urban Administration showed up with a bunch of people and began completely smashing the barbecue stall, as though this were premeditated. Then some by-passers couldn't stand to see this, so they said a few words, the result of which was that the Urban Administrators began fighting violently with the crowd of by-passers, inflaming the public's fury. Crowds of people kept stopping to watch, resulting in traffic being cut off all the way from Shiqiaopu to Chenjiaping.

Then the police showed up, and the local daily news TT630 showed up, and the police wanted to take the barbecue roaster away, the crowd wasn't about to try stop them. But then after the Urban Administration (UA) beat the guy, they wanted to run off, and the crowd wasn't about to let that happen, which led to a deadlock between the police and the crowd, which turned into a clash. The police began hitting people, and the incident then got even worse, with violence continuing to escalate…at this time there were about more than two thousand people crowded around, cutting off all traffic.

At around eleven, the UA tried to drive off, and were then surrounded by the masses, stopped from leaving. After they got out of the van, I don't know who it was who lit the UA van on fire, but with a bang it exploded and the scene turned to chaos and spun highly out of control


作者:巫巫格大人 回复日期:2007-9-5 03:05:00

Didn't get any photos of the UA beating the guy…
It's really a pity, otherwise I could have let all the people of China see whether the UA are actually executors of the law, or just antagonistic bandits
What's most important is that upon knowing that the UA had smashed someone's push stall, I believe that Chongqingers have seen it so often that it doesn't even strike them as unusual now; at the time I also didn't expect the incident to keep escalating to as large as it did. The UA don't just smash people's rice bowls [means of living], but their dinner tables too…not letting people eat, not even letting them earn a living…

From just after seven straight until midnight, the “upstairs” officials took their sweet time getting there, I really don't know what good they thought dawdling around would do…if they had any foresight at all, even just the least bit sense of justice, an inkling of the correct way to handle and deal with things…I think it's unlikely that they'd have let the police and the crowd face off and get violent with each other…nor would they have let things escalate from what this citizen has seen time and time again into the torching of a car and the blocking of traffic…or the infuriation of over a thousand people…

It was around eleven when I heard the first bang, and I thought the police had fired a warning shot, so I took out my camera; but then a flame shot out, then smoke, and the crowd went chaotic…you couldn't see anymore who was a cop and who was a civilian…



Not long after, the firefighters showed up…then the anti-riot squad…sealed off the area…





These were the people at the very edge
Waiting for those…officials to show up and do something

By this time…you can see from the date in the picture…it was already early morning


作者:巫巫格大人 回复日期:2007-9-5 03:15:00

The fire trucks…wee-yoo..wee-yoo


作者:巫巫格大人 回复日期:2007-9-5 03:18:00

The torched UA van…finally extinguished…
They used to drive it like a bunch of ****ing cowboys…now it's just a pile of reeking scrap metal


One reader asks:

作者:左正 回复日期:2007-9-5 03:18:00

Is the clash still going?

作者:巫巫格大人 回复日期:2007-9-5 03:21:00
马路2边的人行道~~~~~全是人啊全是人~~~全是和那位被殴打被砸掉饭碗的烧烤主 一样的~~~~劳动人~~~普通老百姓~~~普通市民~~~

The sidewalk on the opposite side of the road…..they're all people, just people…just the same as that BBQ stall owner who got beaten and had his means of income smashed up….working class…average civilians…common citizens…


作者:巫巫格大人 回复日期:2007-9-5 03:23:00

The van…
Who was it who turned it into a pile of waste metal???
Was it really the vast number of people there at the scene???


作者:巫巫格大人 回复日期:2007-9-5 03:28:00

The fire was put out…and the riot squad began planning to disperse the crowd…
The riot squad warrior in white…everything was chaotic at the time…couldn't get a clear photo…


One reader writes:

作者:005TZ醉七少 回复日期:2007-9-5 03:43:00

Ever since June 4 you're not supposed to discuss politics, this is China's so-called democracy!!!!

作者:巫巫格大人 回复日期:2007-9-5 03:55:00

Can you post video to Tianya? I can't..

作者:巫巫格大人 回复日期:2007-9-5 03:58:00


This was shot with a cellphone…not very bright or clear

The van exploding


作者:巫巫格大人 回复日期:2007-9-5 04:04:00

Those with the white heads….they're all from the riot squad…
Shot with my cellphone…the digital camera was out of power…


作者:巫巫格大人 回复日期:2007-9-5 04:09:00

The citizens still crowding around…nobody planning to leave anytime soon


A reader writes:

作者:坏喜鹊啊 回复日期:2007-9-5 04:15:00

I took this on a business trip to Shenzhen, the UA harassing a guy who sells sweet potatoes, a bunch of running dogs


作者:巫巫格大人 回复日期:2007-9-5 04:27:00

At the scene…there was a big momma beside me saying…TT630 news had arrived…watch the news tomorrow…see this get out there…what others will say…

Hehe…we'll all have to just wait and see then…see if they report on it tomorrow at 6:30

By 11:30…TT6:30 had already been made to leave…at that time…the worsening of the conflict had just begun…
I didn't get a shot of the TT630 car….they left too quickly…

So then it's just up to us non-journalist little citizens to show everyone the things that happened this evening…

Those white dots in the distance…they're all the riot squad…
My pictures aren't clear…you'll just have to deal with it…then again, I'm not a professional photographer…I just want to let Chongqingers all know what exactly has happened this time…I just feel sorry and sympathetic…to that BBQer who makes his money honestly, doesn't steal and doesn't rob…

If, one day…we ourselves see our “rice bowls” barbarically, senselessly and cruelly smashed by someone…how will we feel?



  • Someone ought to translate Jean Merrill’s The Pushcart War into Chinese…

  • JL

    Today QQ has these pictures and a story about a Chongqing security guard (seems to be in plain-clothes in the pictures) beating up a ‘bang-bang’ (delivery) worker. Pictures were taken 2 days before above mentioned riot, which the story doesn’t mention, although it does refer to furious discussion on Tianya.

  • […] Shandong @Zhejiang According to the investigation, the campus police are just temp workers. Yeah, Urban Administration Support (2) Oppose (0) 网易广东广州网友 ip:219.136.*.*: 2007-09-19 21:37:11 发表 […]

  • Charles Liu

    Is lawlessness really worth celeberating?

    In US, when cops go bad you don’t take the law into your own hand. Why should it be any different in China?

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