Videos have emerged of a clash between police and villagers in Guangxi on Thursday afternoon.

The confrontations occurred at Liang village in the Yongning District of Nanning, the capital of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, according to social media posts.

Footage showed villagers throwing objects that appeared to be stones at police, and using flagpoles and bamboo rods to cause them to retreat. Thousands of people appeared to be present. A villager confirmed the veracity of the video with HKFP.

YouTube video

“They want to force all 7,000-odd people in the village to buy houses outside [the village], without making arrangements to help us settle,” the villager told HKFP.

The clashes came after the government ordered forced demolitions of houses without coming to a compensation agreement with villagers, according to posts on social media.

liangcun guangxi
Photo: Weibo.

One villager posted on Weibo along with photos of bloody villagers: “The voice of the whole village says: first settle then demolish! First settle then demolish! First settle then demolish! But they ignored it, sent eight public buses and [a number of] police cars without license plates to the village to make trouble – they won’t even let children and elderly people go! Many children were beaten by electric batons…”

The post was later deleted, but a screenshot was reposted by another user.

Photo: Weibo.

A resident in the nearby town of Pumiao told HKFP that the standoff lasted for around five hours. At nightfall, the villagers banded together and “pledged to die with the village,” he said.

Photo: Weibo.

The standoff between villagers and police lasted into the night, one Weibo user said. They posted that the police and the villagers still had not left by 11pm.

Videos appear to be censored on Chinese microblogging site Weibo. Previous clips uploaded by users were taken down. One user uploaded notices from Weibo saying her previous posts had been removed for violating the law and Weibo’s rules.

The Nanning Public Security Bureau declined to comment when reached by phone.

Catherine is a Canadian journalist and photographer who lived in Beijing for almost two years, working in TV and online media. Aside from Hong Kong and mainland affairs, she is also interested in urban spaces, art and feminism. She holds a BA in Literature and Art History from the University of British Columbia.