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June 10th, 2010 — By — In News & Events

Chinese farmer defends his property from economic development taking

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Stringer

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Stringer

International news agencies have recently reported a story focusing on Yang Youde, a farmer whose property lies on the outskirts of Wuhan city, in central Hubei province, China and his efforts to defend his property from seizure by government-backed developers who want his land. Reuters reports: “His approach is more aggressive than most, but Yang’s problem is a common one.” And, some might argue common not only in Communist China.

Yang fashioned his homemade arsenal (pictured above) with used stove pipes atop a wheelbarrow and 2,000 yuan (approx. $300) worth of locally sold fireworks, which he has twice used successfully to repel government-backed demolition crews wishing to evict him from his land. (9News reporting accounts of the story by The Beijing News.)

Although he’s fighting with fire, literally, Yang means these intruders no harm and there have been no reports of injuries from his canon fire. “I shot only over their heads to frighten them,” the China Daily quoted him saying of his attacks on demolition workers sent to move him off his land. “I didn’t want to cause any injuries.” On the other hand, Yang himself has been injured. “A first eviction team attacked Mr Yang in February after his rockets ran out, but local police came to his rescue.” (Reuters report.)

Michael Tennent, writing for The New American, points out, “Whereas in New London the police were prepared to evict [Susette] Kelo if she refused to move, when Yang was attacked by an eviction team in February…’local police came to his rescue’ and apparently allowed him to remain on his land. Yes, in Communist China the local cops are on the side of average people, while in supposedly free America they side with the government…”

“I must protect my rights,” Yang said. “I’m a farmer. My whole life depends on farming. If I surrender, I have nowhere to go.”