The BBC, the AFP, the Times of India, and Radio Free Asia are all reporting riots in Urumchi (Urumqi). RFA says that protests against the events at Shaoguan, Guangdong began at People’s Square, People’s Theater (presumably the one in Nanmen), and Döngköwrük/Erdaoqiao at 5:00 PM local time and are still in progress. The 3000 or so protesters consist of university students and other youths. About 300 protesters have been arrested. Protesters have overturned a traffic guardrail and blocked traffic, as well as damaging vehicles. Some news outlets have reported two fatalities thus far.
Posts on Chinese-language message boards describe the protesters at People’s Square as around a thousand Uyghurs shouting slogans in both Uyghur and Chinese. There are also reports of explosions in the Döngköwrük area.
The protest may have been broken up. Reports from Uyghur activists in Japan suggest that about 400 people are trying to reignite them. We will keep you updated.
Check out the videos over at New Dominion, when you remember the Tibetan riots of last year, as well as the recent Iranian protests, it all looks very familiar, especially with scenes like this:
The demonstrators seem organised and purposeful, it looks like the result of a definite decision to follow Rebiya Kadeer's order to protest in response to last week's Shaoguan incident, where Han Chinese and Uyghur workers clashed amid rumours of the rape of a Han girl by Uyghurs at a factory in Guangdong (more than a thousand miles to the south of Urumqi), rather than anything spontaneous, but it's hard to tell.
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