1,000 Miners Clash With Police During Protest In Northern China

Saul Thomas stthomas at SPAMmidway.uchicago.edu
Fri Dec 17 10:36:33 MST 1999

1,000 Miners Clash With Police During Protest In Northern China

BEIJING, Dec 17, 1999 -- (Agence France Presse) Some 1,000 coal miners
staged a sit-down protest on a major northern Chinese railway line and five
of them were injured after police attempted to violently remove them, local
officials and a Hong Kong-based rights group said Friday.

"There were about 1,000 protesters who were demanding four-months back
pay," an official from the Chenghe Mining District, the body which runs the
mine, in northern Shaanxi Province, told AFP by phone.

However, he denied that the protesters, who work at the Wang Village coal
mine in Heyang County, clashed with police during the protest, which took
place on Tuesday.

The miners dispersed after securing an agreement that they would receive
two months back pay.

The Information Center of Human Rights and Democratic Movement in China
said that the protesters had clashed with some 300 police. Five of the
miners were injured and four arrested, the center said.

The official from the Chenghe Mining District said the mine was unable to
pay wages because of cutbacks on coal quotas by the state and late payments
by buyers. ((c) 1999 Agence France Presse)

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