4 Dec 2009

Corrruption, protest, environment

Good article on corruption, protest and the green movement in China.

Often psychological pressure is enough to get the green group to back off.

For example, the Yunnan government, which badly wanted the dams on the Nu River to go ahead for economic reasons, tried to intimidate Green Watershed by investigating the group's accounts, restricting its activities and barring the director from going overseas several times, says Lu.

In extreme cases, the police may make arrests, although this usually only happens with individual environmental activists, adds Pacific Environment's Wen.

Wu Lihong is a prime example.

After 10 years of protesting against the pollution of Tai Lake, pollution so intense it turned the lake green with a thick foul-smelling scum, Wu was sentenced to three years in prison in 2007.

He was found guilty of fraud and blackmail.

"With pollution cases, there's always some kind of corruption with local government," Wen says.

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