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RFI: Over Tens Thousand Wuhan Residents Protest against Waste Burning Power Plant

The residents of Yangluo Street, Xinzhou District, Wuhan, on the outskirts of Hubei Province, have been protesting on the streets because the authorities expressed their intention to build a large-scale waste burning power plant. Some media said that the number of protesters was more than ten thousand people. The local police used force to disperse the demonstrators and some people were reportedly injured. The protest started on June 28 and lasted until July 2 and 3 when images taken from the protest scene started to circulate on the Internet. According to the local residents, the authorities plan to build a power plant that can burn 4,000 tons of waste each day. The location of the plant is in an area with a population of over 300,000 people and there are two large size colleges. People are concerned about the toxic quality of the air from the plant and the fact that the authorities did not communicate with the locals about the project.

From the video and photos taken at the scene, it can be seen that the public protest went into the late evening. Thousands of people were on the streets. The uniformed police force is seen standing next to them. After a fight broke out, the police took away a number of residents. Some of them were injured and had blood flowing from their heads. Meanwhile there are inconsistent messages from the local officials. One official’s open letter said that the news about the power plant was fake news and there were no plans to build such a plant. However based on public information, in June, officials from Wuhan City responded to a question and stated that the existing landfill in the region of Yangluo Street would stop operating by the end of 2020 and would be replaced with a waste burning power plant that can burn 2,000 tons of waste each day.

Source: Radio France Internationale, July 6, 2019