Police in China’s financial hub of Shanghai detained scores of people on Saturday after hundreds showed up to protest a planned extension of the city’s magnetic levitation train, or “maglev”, worried it would emit radiation.
Police bundled demonstrators who had gathered in front of the city government into cars and buses, while an estimated 500 protesters shouted, “We don’t want the maglev”.
“We are afraid how the radiation will affect us. Why does the government not listen to our concerns?” said a protester surnamed Guan, adding the extension would pass within 100 metres (328 ft) of her house.
Some people managed to shout out of the windows of police vehicles before being driven away: “We have done nothing wrong. Why are we being detained?”
The police also attempted to stop reporters photographing the protests, the largest the city has seen since thousands took to the streets in anti-Japanese demonstrations in 2005.
Last year, in a very rare case of people power, mass protests in Xiamen caused the local government to eventually decide to move a cancel a controversial chemical plant project and move it elsewhere. Will we see the same in Shanghai?
Reuters: Shanghai police detain anti-maglev rail protesters
Financial Times: Rekindled train dispute a test of activism in China
Photo from HKmPUA