Migrant workers held a rare demonstration in China’s capital on Sunday, with several hundred protesting outside a local government office that recent forced evictions across the city violated human rights, The Wall Street Journal reports. The uncommon show of resistance by migrant workers seems to be the first protest since the Beijing government began sweeping evictions last month following a deadly fire in a slum tenement on the city’s southern outskirts. Those evictions have drawn angry critiques from middle class professionals, while many of the workers left the city quietly.
In Feijia Village, on the city’s northeastern fringe, protesters hung a large white banner reading “Violation of Human Rights” across the front gate of the village committee office, according to smartphone videos verified by people on the scene. One man repeatedly yelled “violent evictions,” and the crowd chanted back, “violate human rights.” The protest lasted several hours in midday, with the crowds growing to several hundred people before police dispersed them, according to eyewitnesses.
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