Protesters in Beijing are currently being treated for poisoning after drinking pesticides while gathered outside the Qianmen watchtower yesterday. The protest was held in response to forced demolitions of their homes in Wuhan, and was meant to be a ‘group suicide attempt’, according to reports.
All 12 of the protestors survived and are now being treated for poisoning, one of the protestors named Wang said in an SCMP report.
Wang said in reports that he and the other Wuhan residents traveled to Beijing to draw attention and express complaint, and described the protest as a group suicide attempt.
“We have been petitioning for so many years, but either we have been dragged back home or locked in secret jails and beaten, and no one has been willing to help us,” Wang was quoted as saying. “We felt like there was no hope left.”
Each of the protesters drank about 50 milliliters of pesticide and laid on the ground until police arrived.
As a gesture of protest, they submitted a letter to the Wuhan municipal petition office last month, seeking permission to “commit suicide collectively” as they were hopeless after three years of unsuccessfully petitioning against the demolition.
The protestors had their homes in Wuhan forcibly demolished by the government in 2010.
In another extreme act from earlier this year, a man in Qingdao, Shandong province used a homemade bomb to hold off construction workers and over 100 police officers trying to carry out the demolition of his house.
[Image via Wen YunChao