If the tweets of Al Jazeera correspondent Melissa K Chan are to be believed, Farmer Yang, the man who protected his land with homemade cannons and bombs has run afoul of the local government.
Al Jazeera was in Wuhan to interview Yang Youde (杨友德), who had rose to fame in international media when pictures of his DIY fortress were posted online. He had originally built the armaments when land developers tried to push him off his land.
But the pictures have now been ordered off Chinese websites and, after his interview with Al Jazeera, officials sent police to interrogate him. While officials, when asked, denied threatening Yang or doing “anything of that sort,” they have apparently warned his son, who is in the military, that “father was a troublemaker.”
Melissa Chan called it a case of “he said, she said” – Yang told her he was interrogated, but officials say nothing like that happened.
If he has been bullied for his tactics, it’s unfortunate but unsurprising. Ostensibly, the Chinese government on top is trying to do something about land rights abuse and officials working closely with developers, but… well, they’re still far away from the machinations of the local government and I’m pretty sure the last thing they want to encourage is people in land disputes using firepower… even if the firepower was just fireworks.