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I made 3 episodes of podcasts documenting the voices of Shangdong Peasants families:《The Nightmare of Shandong's "village mergers"》#合村并居

These farmers speak up with desperation on their real struggles, providing us a rare opportunity to hear their voices. (1/12)
Listen in to them:

《The Nightmare of Shandong’s "village mergers"》
■ 1: From peasant to "wanted criminals"
■ 2: Who’s stupid move?
■ 3: The tragic land of Chinese farmers
According to official documents, the province's "rural revitalization" strategy (#乡村振兴战略) involves relocating and merging 20% of its close to 70,000 villages by 2020. The policy has a name: “village mergers” (#合村并點#合村并居 hécūn bìngjū). (3/12)
With this aggressive goal, the local gov. has been razing villages at an unprecedented speed.
Nearly a dozen villagers told #RFA that the local gov. uses "all sorts of tools" to force them to sign agreements to move... (4/12)
and were promised new houses that are still in construction or have not even been built. (5/12)
These "tools" include pressuring families about their children’s educations, seizing tractors, cutting of electricity, digging huge holes in front of the families’ properties, throwing rocks at their houses, or lighting up fireworks in the middle of the night. (6/12)
In one case, the local police registered a farmer, Li, as a “wanted criminal" for legally taking a mining job more than two decades before.

Li was suddenly arrested at a train station this month while trying to buy a ticket with his ID card. (7/12)
“Raze first, build later”(先拆后建) became a new norm of this mass-demolition campaign in Shandong, leaving thousands of rural residents with few options.

With their houses now gone, most of the farmers we talked to had erected tents along their old fields. (8/12)
Some were staying with family and friends.

The local government promised a 1500 yuan ($213) per month 'transition fee'. At least six families told us they have yet received anything. (9/12)
The local official I spoke to denied all the accusations. "There has been no forced relocation. All money has been sent to the families.”

An official response document from the government to villagers also showed 'No Forced Relocation'. (10/12)
Most of the farmers told me they felt‘helpless’.

“The police are not documenting the case, the government has denied all the behaviors relating to forced relocations, and the court is not taking our case either.” One said. (11/12)
Have a listen:
《The Nightmare of Shandong’s "village mergers"》
■ 1: From peasant to "wanted criminals"
■ 2: Making money from the land
■ 3: The tragic land of Chinese farmers

#山东 #合村并居
Follow my college @jingxuan4022 for more videos to come.
Special thanks to @yuhuaguo #陈光诚@iguangcheng
#郭于华@yuhuaguo , 宋永毅, 文贯中, @kristenelooney
Alexander Day @Occidental, @JohnChungEnLiu @alboyd_aka_LiLe
cc: @Sarah_G_Cook @SophieHRW @Yaqiu @mmchitwood
A Tragic Update :
(1/4) One of the Shangdong farmers in the story, Li, drank pesticide in an attempt of suicide on Saturday in front of the local police station. Three sources and the hospital confirmed with #RFA.

Read here:…

(2/4) Li was taken into questioned by the local police 2 days in a row, few friends told #RFA, the police forced Li to admit that his family let the government demolished their houses “voluntarily” and there’s “no forced relocation”.
(3/4)The authorities also warned Li against leaking any information.

Li left the police station on Saturday afternoon, came back with a bottle of pesticide and drank it.

"以死明志'', Li's friend told me.

The police station denied all the accusations.
(4/4) @chenjglawyer #陳建剛 and @iguangcheng #陳光誠’s accounts on their experiences dealing with local governments and the Justice system in China.…
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