Mass protests are a growing fixture in China’s grassroots’ not-in-my-back-yard environmental justice movement. A lightning rod for public action concerns PX plants – chemical factories located elsewhere in the world that do not incite large-scale protests the way they do in China. Yet the Chinese government cannot convince citizens they are “no more harmful than a cup of coffee.”
(May 24, 2013) The new dawn of Chinese activism: organic, leaderless and technology-driven. This report by journalist Monica Tan looks at the rise of public protest in China, how activism has moved away from a select high-profile few to become a growing movement made up of ordinary people – ‘lao baixing’ – determined to stand up for their environment. Technology enables large masses of people to get the word out and to assemble at low risk: no one and everyone leads. Some see this grassroots’ movement as the road to democracy and accountability for China.