The Social Mosaic of Shishou

(Deng Fei's Sohu Blog)  Details of the Shishou Mass Incident.  By Deng Fei.  July 31, 2009.

From inside the small snack store, 63-year-old Yu Changhua heard a loud "bang" coming from the street.

He raised his eyes.  It was around 8pm on June 17.  The neon lights were flashing on Dongyueshan Road in Shishou city, Hubei province.  People and cars filled the street.

Many people raced over.  A man was lying on the pavement across the entrance of the Yonglong Hotel, with his face up.  Someone went up to touch him and said, "His body has gone cold."

Yu had been a soldier.  He noticed that there was not a drop of blood on the ground.  The body was clean.  So he commented, "He might have been thrown down after he expired."

Yonglong Hotel is located on Dongyueshan Road.  This 6-storey building was covered by a screen in front.  The other three walls are barren cement walls.  Some windows even had wooden frames.  The construction had been quite crude.

The citizens surrounded the body.  The street began to become congested.  Someone identified the deceased as the hotel chef Tu Yuangao.

Oddly, the hotel was quickly vacated.  Two padlocks were place on the front door along with three wooden cross bars.  At the scene, someone began to "narrate" the record of this hotel.  On August 11, 2002, a service worker named Tian Feng fell to her death in the back of the Yonglong Hotel.  At the time, the hotel had been called the One Hundred Flowers Garden Entertainment City.

24-year-old Tu Yuangoa's family lives in Changhe village, Gaojimiao town, about more than 10 kilometers from the county city.  He was hired by the Yonglong Hotel four months ago.  He slept in the hotel at night.

About forty minutes later, the father Tu Deming stumbled over to the scene.  He embraced his son.  "I was stunned.  I could not even cry aloud."  The Tu family came over one by one.  There was crying everywhere.

The police who were summoned claimed to have found a brief suicide note in Tu's room.  Therefore they concluded that this was a suicide case.  They called the funeral hearse to take the body away, but the family firmly refused -- they did not believe that Tu had committed suicide.

A spectator who lived nearby said loudly, "Tu Yuangao was still playing with the children in the streets that afternoon.  He even said hello to the neighbors at 4pm."

Tu Deming told the police that he had spoken to his son on June 16 and asked him when he was coming back.  "He was quite alright, so how could be commit suicide all of a sudden?"  The family members insisted that as long as doubts about the death exists, the body must not be cremated.

The move by the Tu family drew a round of applause from the spectators.

The family tried to contact the persons in charge at the hotel, but to no avail.  This roused the ire of the spectators, who used wooden sticks to smash a glass door and carried the body of Tu into the hotel lobby.  The police at the scene were powerless to interfere.

The family members examined the body carefully: there were strangulation marks around the neck, one scrotum was swollen and there was a relatively clear bruise mark on the chest.

The police continued to persuade the Tu family to remove the body.  The contents of the note from Tu was shown: "Dear father and mother, your son has to tell you that he is impious.  I don't know what has happened to me.  I seemed to be enshrouded by a shadow all the time.  Maybe this is my fate.  Please take my savings and consider them to be a small compensation from me to you.  The debt that your son owes you for bringing him up will have to be repaid in the next life ..."

The family members and the spectators refused to accept that this could be a suicide note.

The father laid a bed sheet on the ground, put his son's body on it and began to keep watch.

This was the first night of the Shishou incident.  More than one hundred people stayed with the father through the night.

Early on the morning of July 18, 62-year-old Zhang Baohua and some colleagues came to the scene.

Zhang and Yu Changhua were retired workers from the Shishou water pump factory.  He heard that a young man had died under mysterious circumstances, and so he came to check out the scene.

That morning, a thousand people gathered on Shangyueshan Road.  When they heard that the police was coming to take the body away by force, they used chairs and gas canisters to blockage the inside and outside of the hotel entrance.

Some citizens hung out a large character banner in front of the hotel.  They were demanding an investigation into the truth about the death.  Through mobile telephone, SMS and the Internet they sent the information out.

The information came that if the family members would sign a paper to acknowledge that this was a suicide case, the hotel would pay 35,000 RMB for burial expenses.

This sum caused people to angrily associate this case with the suicide death of Tian Feng: After Tian Feng died, her father saw the nearly nude body of his daughter at the funeral parlor -- her bra had been ripped apart, her panties were torn, her fingers were scratched, and her body was covered with wound marks.

Tian Wenbin told the media that his 16-year-old daughter was either forced to jump off the building when threatened by rapists or else she was pushed out of the window while resisting rape.  Previously, according to Tian Feng, some customer had designs on her.

Tian Wenbin has petitioned many times at Jingzhou and Wuhan to ask for police investigation.  But the police did not think that Tian Feng was raped, and the city political and legal committee and the Bijiashan police officials asked Tian Wenbin to cremate the body quickly.

Tian Feng's body was placed at the funeral parlor for fourteen days before being cremated.  The Tian family received 40,000 RMB in compensation.  Soon afterwards, the Hotel was sold to three women and was re-named the Yonglong Hotel.

Zhang Baohua and the other old folks from the water pump factory had a different set of sorrows: "This child is just like us because a life is just worth a few tens of thousands of yuan."

Shishou has a large population, it has rich mineral resources and the Changjiang River crosses the whole city.  Shishou harbor is regarded as one of the major ports on the Changjiang River way.  The county has a number of factories of which the water pump factory used to be one of the best companies in Shishou.

In 1996, the inefficient water pump factory was operationally bankrupt.  It was sold at 12 million RMB to the then factory general manager, but allegedly only 5 million RMB was handed over.  The workers received only a subsidy of 400 yuan for each year that they worked, and they needed to pay for their own social security.  In June 2005, Zhang and some old workers gathered in front of the factory to protest the collusion between government and business to privatize a state-owned enterprise.  They claimed that even selling the idle equipment of the factory could have raised 10 million yuan.

The Shishou city party committee leader led more than 200 police officers to clear the protestors out.  The workers ultimately went to the Hubei provincial party committee and some workers received between 3000 and 5000 yuan in medical assistance.

In 2006, the factory land was purchased back by the government for more than 10 million yuan.  The land was then re-sold to a real estate developer which built an estate called Tianrui Mingdu.

The Shishou Siluan Group was located about 200 meters away from the water pump factory.  This automotive accessory producing state-owned enterprise was in the same boat as the water pump factory.  Its old factory land was bulldozed to make way for an upscale estate with the advertising slogan: "I work in the centre of the city and I live above the city."

From 1998 to 2007, this factory which had a book value of 12,700,000 yuan in assets and four different factory sites was sold three times while its assets shrank by 75%.  The workers found out that the legal representative of the real estate company was their former general manager Liu.

Some of the old workers from the four factories came to watch at Yonglong Hotel.

Among them was a group of workers with special status: The land for the factories used to be farmland for the peasants in the area.  The peasants gave up their land in exchange for job opportunities at the factory.  But when the factory closed down, their medical and retirement benefits were gone.

On the afternoon of May 13, the peasants gathered on the construction worksite and unfolded the banner "Give me my land back."  They were assaulted by a group of men wearing yellow helmets and blue raincoats.  68-year-old Meng Xianlin was picked up by two men and "thrown out like trash."  He suffered a fracture in his vertebra.

The police never went after the attackers.  From the photographs at the scene, a drug addict bum was recognized.

So the Yonglong Hotel became the best place for three different groups of old workers to commiserate about their past and make demands for the present.

Other spectators stated at the scene that the shareholders of the Yonglong Hotel are wives of government officials, which allows them to do anything that they want including drug dealing, gambling and even murder.  (Later, the government investigation showed that the three female shareholders of the hotel do not have illustrious backgrounds.)

On the afternoon of June 18, the Bijia police station sent forth a refrigerated coffin.

Throughout the day beginning 2am on June 18, the police and the belatedly appearing hotel owners held four negotiation sessions with the Tu family.  In the last session, the Gaojimiao town and Bijia Neighborhood Office officials promised that the hotel will make reasonable compensation and the family agreed that the police can take the body away from the scene.

But the Tu family did not imagine that the situation was beyond their control.  The spectators did not agree with the transferal of the body.  A family member named Tu Deqiang said afterwards that he told the spectators that an agreement has been reached with the government and therefore he thanked them for their support.  "I did not imagine that they would curse me out for being useless.  I was in a bad mood and I started to quarrel with them."

More and more people were showing up, so the police had to shelf their plan to come in.

So that was what happened on June 18.

On July 19, taxi driver Zhao Zhiguo drove his taxi down to Dongyueshan Road.  He stayed there for three days and three nights.

Zhao said that many citizens wanted to use the case of Tu Yuangao to issue a warning to the government.  "There is very little sense of security living in this city."

Shishou has a large transient population.  The hotel and restaurant businesses are well-developed.  It is also a city known for prostitution, gambling and drug abuse.

According to Zhao, gambling activities such as lotteries, electronic gambling machines and mahjong are available and flourished with the support of government officials.  On November 14, 2003, the Chutiandu Metropolis Daily reported that the Shishou public security bureau issued <Notice to militia police officers and their family members> to ask those militia police officers to withdraw from whatever gambling activities they were involved with.

From March 2007, a man named Liu Zenghua purchased 2926.5 grams of cocaine on five separate occasions, thus forming the first case of drug dealing in Shishou for which Liu received the death penalty.  On June 3, 2009, another record was set for drug dealing in Shishou -- four drug dealers formed a purchasing group to buy 1634 grams of heroin in Guanxi.  Thus, the police was able to disrupt a major drug supply source.

The data from the Shishou city public security bureau showed: There were 220 registered drug users in Shishou in 2001; in 2008, the number had increased to 800 but the actual number of drug users (registered or unregistered) is estimated to be around 3,000.  Drug abuse has even extended into the group of public servants.  In 2007, the government set up the first health clinic in Shishou that provided methadone at 10 yuan per cup in order to help drug addicts cope with their addiction.

Zhao Zhiguo said that thefts and robberies increased because people needed to get money to gamble and buy drugs.  His taxi has frequently carried deadbeat customers.

There was one incident that Zhao Zhiguo found to be incredible: a middle-aged female corpse was found on the road by the glass factory.  The criminal police said that it was a traffic accident, but the traffic police determined that it was a homicide.  Nobody wanted to take charge.

To an outsider first arriving in this small city, there are some special characteristics -- the whole city is covered with cheap hotels, and every house or wall is pasted with poster ads for fake documentation, stolen cars, guns, knock-out drugs, etc.  About ten meters away the Yonglong Hotel is a massage parlor with tightly closed doors.  The sign said: "Hiring girls all year round."

The Yonglong Hotel and the Health Clinic are just separated by a street, but everybody knows that this was the place for drug transactions and use.

On June 19, the spectators found seven or eight syringes in a corner in the rear of the Yonglong Hotel.  On that day, a new version of the death of Tu Yuangao was disseminated: Tu took the telephone call from his father and told the boss that he wanted to take his three months of back pay and return home.  The boss was unwilling to pay because business had been bad.  Tu got anxious and threatened to reveal the drug dealing activities at the hotel at a time when there was a campaign against drug abuse.  Tu was therefore detained by the hotel boss, made to write a final note and then pushed out of the window to die.

The only supporting this evidence was: Tu Yuangao had been working at the hotel for four months but had received only one month's salary of 1,500 yuan of which 1,300 yuan was remitted to his family.

Although the evidence was lacking, this version won the acceptance of many citizens.

On that morning, the local television station and the Shishou website published the news report on <An unusual death occurred in our city> and described the spectators as "the masses who don't know the truth."  This roused the ire of the spectators.  Several hundred people began to hang out banners and hand out signature sheets.

More than a hundred police came again to try to remove the body of Tu.  They said that the police needed to conduct an autopsy.  They were challenged and insulted by the spectators.  A first round of physical confrontation took place.

At past 2pm that afternoon, more police reinforcements as well as two hundred armed police officers from Jingzhou arrived at Dongyueshan Road.  The spectators cried out, "Preserve the body!  Preserve the evidence!"  About 2,000 people used bricks, beer bottles and even chairs to chase more than 30 police officers over 300 meters.  They also toppled a police vehicle from the Gaojimiao police station.

After 2pm, the Gaojimiao town cadre Liu Guolin arrived at the scene as ordered to persuade the Tu family to depart from the scene.  He did not succeed.

Afterwards, it was reported in an essay entitled <Some reactions on having participated in the handling of the Shishou incident>: "In Shishou, it seemed that everybody could see and feel: many gambling dens, many drug addicts, many pickpockets, many robberies, many unsolved murders, many protection umbrellas for entertainment venues, a lot of traffic violation fines, a lot of illegal fee collections, imperious attitudes of the police against common folks."

On the morning of June 19, 48-year-old Zhou Longsheng from Hemin village, Dayuan town came to the scene with fellow villagers.

Hemin village is on the other side of the river as the county city.  After crossing the river on the Sanyikou steam ferry, it is another five or six minutes on foot to the Yonglong Hotel.

This is not a safe journey.  On the morning of December 25, 2005, there was a heavy fog which caused low visibility on the Changjiang River.  The "E-Jing Zhou ferry 5002" raised its price by 1 yuan before setting out.  Shortly afterwards, it collided with the "Xianghang 5002" coal transport ship of the Changhsha Harbor Authority.  The ferry sank.

All the passengers were trapped in cabin which was sealed by wooden boards and rain tarpaulin.  None survived.  The ferry passengers were mainly peasants who were trying to reach the vegetable market behind the Yonglong Hotel as well as the passengers on the bus to Shishou.

Afterwards, the Shishou government claimed that there were 11 deaths.  They organized the law enforcement, court, public security and legal department workers to set up 11 teams which sent each family a sum of 1,000 yuan in sympathy.

The sunken ship and the bodies were never retrieved.  According to some analyses, there was no way that the ferry could set out in such dangerous conditions for just 11 passengers (and 33 yuan in extra income).

It is an unsolved question as to how many passengers were on that ferry.  People have debated about it ever since.

At the Yonglong Hotel scene, people revived the case of the sunken ferry and insisted that the government had concealed the number of deaths in order to save the jobs of certain government officials.

At noon, Shishou city Xiaohekou town Nanhekou village resident Li Xi paid 6 yuan to take a bus over a ferry to reach the county city.  Previously, people from the village had gone to petition at the county city about the pollution problem in the village.

In recent years, nine vanadium factories were built in the neighboring Jianli county.  These factories used sodium baking and created vast amounts of waste gases, water and products.  According to the information, these waste products could cause kidney inflammation, pneumonia, bronchitis, vision impairment and other ailments.

In September 2007, a giant vanadium factory began to operate in Nanhekou village.  These factory had a kilometer-long cement pipe that discharged directly into the Changjiang River.  Since the pipe sections were not tightly sealed, the leakage of waste water poisoned and killed all the agricultural products in the vicinity.  The discharge point was about one kilometer from where the town drew its drinking water.  In June, the Changjiang River runs high and it was easy for the water to flow backwards upstream.  Once the waste water enter the drinking water pipe, "we can no longer drink our water."

On June 10, 2008, the villagers gathered in front of the vanadium factory to demand a solution to the water pollution.  They were assaulted by more than 200 young men.  At least 36 villagers were injured.  These young men wielded knives and sticks and charged into the village, beating everyone that they saw and smashing all the furniture and household electronics.

The attackers were later found to be unemployed persons hired at high wages by the vanadium factory from Jianli county.  Their boss was named Liu Haiqiao.  Liu was arrested by the police.  The vanadium factory ceased production for several months but resumed production again.

41-year-old Li Xi said that he is a Communist Party member and he did not take any action against the police.  But he saw that the young and old people and males and females around him were all worked up.  They were howling and they threw beer bottles, rocks and bricks at the police and armed police.

On the evening of June 19, electricity began to be cut off around Dongyueshan Road.  The temperature inside the hotel lobby rose suddenly.  The family members did not know what to do.  The citizens brought an electricity generator over to make sure that the refrigerated coffin continued to function.  The family members brought out a dozen or so gas canisters to show their resolve.

A rumor was spread over mobile telephone calls and SMS that the government will attempt to seize the body again at 5pm on June 20.  Zhao Zhiguo received such a message.  The crowd grew bigger.

The next day was the day of the middle school exams.  The exam site was the Bijia Middle School nearby.  The Shishou officials felt that the problem must be resolved as quickly as possible.  On the evening of June 19, the Shishou city mayor made a public address from the fourth floor of the health clinic on the other side of the hotel while under the protection of armed police.  He asked the spectators to leave the scene.  This aroused the emotions of the spectators once more.  Some people began to throw beer bottles at him, but the bottles could not reach the top floor.  Many windows in the clinic building were broken.

The rumor that the government will attempt to seize the body again at 5am on June 19 caused many citizens to pour in and surround the Yonglong Hotel.  According to eyewitnesses, about 40,000 citizens were assembled there.  This was the peak attendance figure.

At about 16:00 on June 20, 33-year-old Cheng Xianlan and her mother-in-law took a motor bike from Jiuheyuan to come to the county city.

Relatives in the county city told them that there is a battle over "body seizing" in the county city just like the one that they had gone through themselves.

Early morning on that day, Hubei province governor Li Hongzhong arrived in Shishou.

At 2:00, around 500 plus armed police officers and regular police officers gathered in formation and moved towards the Yonglong Hotel.  When they got near the vaccination station, several thousand citizens attacked them with bricks and rocks.  The armed police officers withdrew.  The people chased them for about one kilometer.  Police vehicles were toppled over.

At around 9:00, more than 1,00 armed police officers advanced towards the Yonglong Hotel from Dongfang Avenue.  They used high-pressure water cannons.  The citizens who were sprayed screamed and dispersed.  Then they threw bricks and rocks at the armed police.  Some people on the roofs of the buildings on both sides of the street threw rocks into the street.

The story that she heard the people caused Cheng Xianlan to cry.  Twenty days ago, Cheng's husband Huang Zhonggang was diagnosed with myocarditis and cardiogenic shock.  He died on an ambulance on the way to the hospital.  The family members claimed that a city health department deputy director admitted that the doctor had been negligent in not stressing the seriousness of the condition, did not inform the family and did not accompany the patient on the ambulance.  That was why nobody was there to give assistance to Huang.  The deputy director also acknowledged that anyone with cardiogenic shock should not be moved because the bumpy ride could cause problems.  Instead, treatment at the scene was preferable.

The two sides were at a stalemate over the matter of compensation.  The Huang family took the refrigerated coffin to the court yard of the health clinic.  On June 2, the Shishou city political and legal committee deputy secretary issued an ultimatum: the body must be cremated as soon as possible and the compensation shall be 20,000 yuan.  If the family refuses, they won't even get one cent.

Cheng Xianlan is a member of the Chinese Communist Party.  She has worked at the village party committee for many years.  When she saw the town cadres whom she knew trying to seize the body, she cried, "How can you possibly bear to do this?  I also gave myself to the Party."  Many cadres stood aside.  A police officer said, "I will never do this sort of thing in my next life."

Finally, the mob smashed the refrigerated coffin, dragged Huang's body out, assaulted the family members who were trying to stop them and then sent Huang's uncle and mother down to the detention centre.

Cheng Xianlan said that the body of her husband was dragged on the ground for more than 20 meters and then tossed into the funeral hearse.  Her husband's head was almost snapped off and was only hanging on his back.  "My first instinct was to fight them with all my might, but I was really depleted of strength by that time."

When Huang Zhonggang was cremated, the government released his uncle.  Afterwards, the government gave a compensation award of 45,000 yuan to the Huang family, but they were required to guarantee that they won't petition and litigate.

Cheng Xianlan's aunt was at the scene earlier.  She said that many women and children joined in the attack on the armed police.  Some of the women were crying even as they attacked.  The videos on the Internet showed: The armed police joined their shields together to protect themselves against the bricks, rocks and bottles that were coming in from all directions.  This only drew in more intense frontal attacks.  Some of the armed police could not endure the attacks and broke formation to flee, leaving their helmets behind.

More and more people got the news and came.  They began to break the windows on the anti-riot vehicles and fire trucks.  They overturned some police vehicles.  The armed police officers were forced to retreat  The scene was littered with broken glass and debris.

At noon, the Hubei province party secretary arrived in Shishou.  Many government officials met at the Shishou city party committee school to discuss arrangements.  The Jingzhou city party secretary asked the various departments to send out cadres to disperse the grounds.  Certain cadres in Jingzhou who came from Shishou were sent back to work with the masses.

A certain public servant received the notice to not fabricate rumors, to not participate in the incident and to engage the people.  Family members should also be prevented from participating.

Actually, some public servants had been at the scene and revealing certain internal official news.  "The superiors are nervous about that."

Shortly after Cheng Xianlan arrived in Shishou, a man set off a fire on the first floor of the Yonglong Hotel and then fled quickly.  Tu Deming and his wife were overwhelmed by the fumes and were sent to the hospital.  Tu Yuangao's cousin entered a small room in the hotel with the refrigerated coffin along with two cans of gasoline.  He declared that he was prepared to die.

The other family members went outside the hotel.  A family member named Tu Haimo said later that he was shocked by the sight of the dark mass of people with excited faces and beer bottles in hand.  He realized that they were beyond control.

The Jingzhou city mayor came with a large group of officials to visit the parents of Tu Yuangao.  The Tu family was exhausted, and they agreed to move the body to the funeral parlor where an autopsy would be conducted.

Cheng Xianlan heard that the provincial leaders were receiving petitioners at the Chuyuan Hotel.  She went over there, but she was blocked at the front entrance by the Shishou city political and legal committee official named Li.  Li had been involved in the case of Huang Zhonggang.  Li stopped her and told her that no provincial leader was receiving petitioners there.

At evening, the Shishou city party committee issued the <Letter to all citizens> that called for citizens to distrust rumors, to not transmit rumors and to not participate in spectatorship.

Cheng and more than 100 citizens watched from a tall building.  Someone kept saying, "It is one thing to watch, but we should not speak irresponsibly."  Cheng did not dare to say anything, so she watched the masses of people downstairs quietly.

At 2am on June 21, the armed police tried to send in the fire trucks once again.  The crowd punctured the car tires.  Seven or eight armed police officers were injured.  Along the 1,300 meter-long roadway from Huangshu Street to Bijia Middle School, more than 20,000 people were gathered.

Hunan and Henan province sent several thousand armed police officers to Shishou.  At 5am, they began to clear the scene.  Cheng saw the armed police stood in formations to push the crowds outwards.  They hit their shields with their batons and chanted "Ho! Ho!" in unison.  The young armed police were friendly towards the people.  When one armed police officer saw a citizen tumbling down, he rushed over to help the man up.

Cheng was in tears once again.  In 1998, the villagers and more than 200 soldiers from a certain division of the Jinan military command fought alongside to hold back the flood waters from the Han River.  Afterwards, several tens of thousands of Shishou citizens came out to bid farewell to the soldiers.  "My heart was moved just like back then."

The loudspeakers repeatedly played the recording from Tu Yuangao's brother.  He said that their family has reached an agreement with the government and he thanked everybody for their support.

Someone in the crowd yelled, "Let us leave quickly.  There are too many policemen.  We are going to be arrested!"  Several tens of thousands of spectators were tired already and so they retreated like the receding tide.

The vehicle that carried the body of Tu Yuangao left in a hurry.

On June 28, Hubei provincial party secretary Luo Qingquan came to Shishou and met with two village party secretary who did not get their retirement income, two peasants who lost their land and three persons who were dissatisfied with court verdicts.  Luo demanded Shishou city to hold receptions of petitioners by the city party secretary.  The masses must be received warmly and the contradictions should be resolved locally.

This provincial party secretary who was born and raised in Hubei province is necessarily familiar with Shishou.

Shishou city is a city of migrants with a great deal of tolerance and very little fierceness and barbarity.  It is one of the places that Hubei officials had to pay the least amount of attention to.  Previously, the Jingzhou city party secretary had praised the people of Shishou for their simplicity and honesty.

How can an old district which has been praised for the goodness of its people have a mass incident in which several tens of thousands of people gathered in the streets for 80 hours and repeatedly attacked the armed police?  Several dozen armed police officers had been injured and more than a dozen police cars were destroyed.  Luo Qingquan demanded that the Shishou officials provide the answer and come up with a summary of the lessons learned.

Actually, the local Shishou leaders had previously gone through the training by the central government on how to maintain stability.  They had established a system of assigning responsibility on maintaining stability.  This was the reason why the disciplinary committee secretary brought the police to clear the scene.  But this did not prevent the incident from occurring.

On June 25, the Shishou city public security bureau, the procuratorate and the court jointly issued <The notice to urge the participants in the June 17 assault/vandalism/robbery incident to turn themselves in>.  The notice was posted everywhere in Shishou.  It warned that all those lawbreaking criminals who planned, organized, directed or participated in assault, vandalism and robbery must turn themselves in before June 30 if they want lenient treatment.

On the afternoon of June 27, mayor Zhang Xiancai and a group of officials met to discuss the major petition issues in Shishou city.  They identified 67 major petition problems and they assigned these issues as cases with specific project leaders, units and responsible persons.

Next to the rice field in the village, a group of relatives are comforting the parents of Tu -- on June 27, the body of Tu Yuangao was cremated.  The Tu receivfed 80,000 yuan from the Yonglong Hotel owners, the Shishou city government and the Gaojimiao twon government.  A female relative said bitterly, "What can we do?  We are just dead peasants."

Several town cadres were posted around the Tu family house 24 hours a day.  The reason given was that they were there to protect the Tu family members.

That night, Tian Wenbin once again dreamed of his daughter falling out of the Yonglong Hotel.  It was like as if a needle had gone through his heart and the pain woke him up.

Inside the small grocery store, Yu Changhua was writing down his thoughts stroke by stroke at his small table.  He was writing in the name of a 42-year veteran Communist Party member.  He pointed out that the death of Yu was merely a fuse.  "There is a long stream of petitioners in Shishou.  The cadres fall short in governance while public safety is a mess."

On June 28, Cheng Xianlan hesitated for a long time outside the Chuyuan Hotel.  She wanted to try her luck before returning home.  "I could run into a truly good official in the manner of Lord Bao."  Unfortunately, she was detected again.  Sitting in the assistant manager's seat in the lobby was the Shishou city political and legal committee general office director named Li.  He put down the magazine that he was reading, stood up, pointed his finger at Cheng and said, "Hey, what are you doing here again?"

That night, Mayor Zhang Xiancai led a team of cadres to search for three missing children who had fallen into the river in the town where Cheng Xianlan lived.

On the Internet, netziens wondered when the trouble dies down, will this mayor still get into the water to show his concern for peasants?  But Cheng Xianlan said that she plans to seek out this mayor.

A man from Gong'an county came to the Yonglong Hotel on a motorcycle.  He used his mobile phone to film the hotel.  He said that he firmly believes that Tu had been murdered.

A song-and-dance troupe from Henan erected four large photos of sexy girls at the Shishou City Science and Technology Museum.  They claimed to be offering a sexy and exciting adult show for the people of Shishou.

It was very busy at the night market.  Men with bare upper arms crowded into the food stalls to enjoy lobsters and pigs' ears with their beer.  They discuss the recent events loudly, with occasional bursts of laughter.

Next to a banner saying "Maintain social stability for the sake of national interests," the famous Yonglong Hotel looks like a mess after the fire.  A green screen has been hung out in front to shield the sight.  The police patrol passed by solemnly.  Two old men were completely oblivious as they went though a stinking garbage truck to look for waste products that can be re-sold for cash.

Related Link: The Shishou Mass Incident