- The Washington Times - Monday, November 23, 2009

BEIJING | At least two dozen people were arrested after more than 1,000 people took part in a violent protest against the closing of a market in southern China, hurling bricks at police and blocking roads, state media reported Monday.

The crowd of people joined about 200 shopkeepers Saturday in a protest over what they said was inadequate compensation for the planned Nov. 30 closing and relocation of the Luoshiwan wholesale market in Kunming, capital of Yunnan province, the China Daily newspaper reported.

The 1,000 protesters blocked a major downtown road in Kunming and injured police officers and damaged property by hurling bricks, the newspaper said.

Calls to the Kunming police and local government office rang unanswered Monday.

The China Daily said that the Luoshiwan wholesale market, which is to be moved 6 miles (10 kilometers) outside of the city to ease traffic problems, is one of the biggest in China, consisting of 10,000 stalls selling everything from household furniture to computers and clothes.

The suspects are currently under investigation for “disrupting social order,” according to the report.

In China, especially in rural regions, protests are common because there is often no recourse once local officials make a decision. Many cannot air their complaints in local media or courts, which are controlled by the Communist Party.

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