housing demolition

A new way to protest?

Following on from yesterday’s post, it seems that the trend of self-immolation as a means of protesting has caught on in other ethnicities other than Tibetans.

This month an 81-year old Chinese woman, Wang, also set herself alight in response to the demolition of her home in Henan.

The elderly woman’s house was due to be demolished to accommodate for a tunnel project.

This case is allegedly one of many of this kind, all in protest of house demolitions.

Wang’s relatives, who were later detained, had also doused themselves in petrol, threatening the demolition workers with setting themselves alight. But before they could, Wang had already gone ahead.

China is ranked 66th for the highest number of suicides by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which is reasonably low considering the pressure to succeed and culture of saving face that Chinese people have.

In a country where opposition and protest are often suppressed, the Chinese people seem to be trying to find alternative ways to speak their mind. A way which will not end with being arrested.

The first I had heard of self-immolation was in Iran and Afghanistan. Women who could not bear to live any longer with their wicked husbands, would self-immolate.

Now it has become a trend in China too.