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Liulangzhuang voices 3: do not believe the hired thugs

November 30, 2013

Liulangzhuang –this is your home 2011-07-19

konjaku: this message, on the site, is from one villager to his fellow villagers. A person who apparently believes the words of the reform enacted at the beginning of 2011, that the authorities cannot forcibly demolish homes without a court order.  A voice appealing to reason, legality, progress, negotiation without force. The notice from the village committee of 2012-01-06, half a year after this, makes it clear that force is an option. In any case, Liulangzhung has now been demolished, so what is written here is a record of a historical moment that has now past.

Liulangzhung before its transformation

Liulangzhung before its transformation

Liulangzhung buildings before demolishment

Liulangzhung buildings before demolishment

Liulangzhung before

Liulangzhung before

In recent years, many villages around here on the periphery of the city have been demolished. We should have acquired some basic knowledge about that, for sure. In the past the legal system was not well established. We were unable to rely on it, given that there were unscrupulous merchants,  corrupt officials, and those who call themselves the “demolition corporation,” but who were in reality hired thugs operating a fly by night operation. Their approach is much the same in all cases: to intimidate on the one hand, and lure by the promise of gain with the other. It has now been 30 years since the reform and opening to the outside world began. The legal system is more solid. I think if by this time if there is no recourse for the common people to protect their own interests, then it will be difficult to advance any further.

Recently I read that the some people are standing firm. But, they are worried. Worried that if they don’t cooperate with the demolition, are the authorities going to carry out a forcible demolition or not? Will the village committee carry this out? No, you do  not have to worry, they do not have the authority to destroy your house. They can only send some of those hired thugs, as we have called them, to harass you. If you don’t withstand this trial, naturally you will fall. In any society, there is someone who fears someone, right? They cannot go beyond reasonable limits. There is just one puny village head, and a few of the people, who have been bought off. Can they decide by themselves how the demolition of Liulangzhuang will go? This may be hard to hear, but your calculations are all off. The town government will give you support, truly the problem is, who among them is it that can hold fast?

The common people have accumulated their estate and property over generations. If you [the authorities] say “requisition,” can it just be requisitioned away from us? We are not against demolition. We are not against relocation. We are not against the state building what it wants, we just want at least reasonable and equitable prerequisites to be followed!

There are some greedy officials who say, you are unruly people. You ask for sky high compensation. Let me ask you. If it was your house, which your family had lived in for generation after generation, that was going to be lost, wouldn’t you be the same? Of course. And, you are cadres. From the beginning, you support the demolition, have your own home demolished. Then you say, I am a cadre, I have supported the state policy. Those common people who hold out to the end will not get half as much compensation as you. And you call that “society.”

Speaking of Tangjialing, there were definitely more than a few forcible demolitions, there was no good solution there. After that, who dares to be rash? What happened to the advancement of the legal system then? But comrades! You do not need to take that village’s policy as the same as ours –it is not the same. Please don’t be scared!

As for the demolition this time, I would like to sum up this way.  Do not believe what you hear from the hired thugs, don’t let them measure your home unofficially, no matter what reason they give. [Measuring the total area to fix the compensation amount]. They might say measuring has nothing to do with the demolition. Don’t be fooled! No matter what, don’t sign anything! Don’t be afraid. That is the key. This is your home.

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