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Two months after a dozen police broke into her apartment and dragged her away in front of her one-year-old daughter and teenage son, labour activist Zhu Xiaomei returned home on the evening of 1 February.
China Labour Bulletin Director Han Dongfang responds to the arrest of labour activists in Guangdong and the state media’s smear campaign against them.
A group of labour activists held in detention for more than a month have been subjected to a vicious smear campaign in China’s state-run media. Many workers have now spoken out in their defence and they present a completely different picture from that in the official media.
The Party Secretary and county head in Pingyi, Shandong, have both been dismissed in the wake of the 25 December gypsum mine collapse in the county which left one miner confirmed dead and 17 still trapped underground five days later.
The Guangzhou authorities are citing “national security” concerns in order to prevent lawyers from seeing Zeng Feiyang (see photo below) and other detained labour activists.
Two prominent labour activists have been formally detained by the Guangzhou authorities for “gathering a crowd to disturb social order,” in what appears to be a coordinated crackdown on labour groups in the city. Photo: Zeng Feiyang,  Zhu Xiaomei and He Xiaobo.
Banners are one of China’s best-loved propaganda tools. In every city and town, large fabric scrolls extoll the virtues of harmony, stability, civilized development and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
As industrial unrest in China intensifies, worker activists in Guangdong are seeking more effective ways to counter management reprisals and arrests or detentions by the local police.
China Labour Bulletin is quoted in the following article. Copyright remains with the original publisher.
Weekly visits and random questioning by local police officers are not unusual for the Shenzhen Chunfeng Labour Disputes Centre in Guangdong province. This summer, though, has been different, says Zhang Zhiru, the centre’s director.


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