David Swanson, TomDispatch.com

At 13:50 or so on September 2, there was a demonstration by the businessmen and residents of the Little West Gate area of Urumqi.  They marched in the streets for about an hour.  According to what our reporter learned from those present at the scene, the reason of the demonstration was that the people had nabbed a suspect who was using a syringe to stab people and took him down to the police station.  However, due to lack of evidence, the police station "had to release the suspect."  This outcome upset the people.

At 10:40 or so on September 3, there was yet another "syringe attack" in the Little West Gate area of Urumqi.  By 10:50 or so, about 1,000 people had gathered to demonstrate again.

From 11:00 on, there were many different groups gathered at various places in Urumqi.  At around 12:00 or so, several tens of thousands of people converged on the Autonomous Region Party Committee office in People's Plaza, Urumqi.  These people carried Chinese national flags, and banners with words like "Defend our homes, severely punish the rioters" and so on.

At People's Plaza, Autonomous Region Party secretary Wang Lequan addressed the crowds.  He said that the government will severely punish the criminals involved in the 7.5 incident in Urumqi in accordance with the law; he said that the government will severely punish the criminals involved in the series of syringe attacks in accordance with the law; he said that the Urumqi government has set up an investigative team to study the compensation scheme for all the businesses that have suffered losses due to the 7.5 incident.

Our reporter noted that during Wang Lequan's speech, some of the marchers were emotionally excited adn even threw water bottles at the speakers.

There were no major violent acts (such as destruction of public property) during the demonstration march.

(Apple Daily)


"To retaliate against the authorities for cracking down on them,
the Uighurs recently used poisoned syringes to randomly attack people."


"On September 2, a large number of syringe attack victims
were sent to hospitals for treatment, including a young boy who died."


"During the demonstration, certain Hans and Uighurs threw rocks at each other."


Wang Lequan (right) and other Autonomous Region/Urumqi leaders on the balcony

(YouTube)

 

(Apple Daily)

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Central University of Nationalities (in Beijing) Uighur associate professor Ilham pointed out that  the 7.5 incident had been violently suppressed and Xinjiang is now under high-pressure policies now.  Therefore, it can be expected that the Uighurs should use methods such as syringe attacks to take revenge.  He believes that it is not enough to use force to heal the hurt in the hearts of the Uighur people.

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The Han writer Huang Zhangjin who studies the Xinjiang problem pointed out the authorities have failed to recognize their mistake after the 7.5 incident and continues to lock down information.  "The syringe revenge attacks have been circulated around for quite some time and the citizens are scared.  They wouldn't allow this to be reported until after the attacks exploded.  How can this satisfy the anger of the citizens?"  Huang Zhangjin believes that in order to calm down the tense situation in Xinjiang now, the best thing is to relief Wang Lequan from his job.  "The mistakes in the ethnic policies may not have been created by him, but only he can be the scapegoat that can relieve the angers of the Uighurs and the Hans and bring them down the road to reconciliation."

(ESWN Comments: These are extraordinary comments.  On the first comment, it would seem that most people regard it as wrong to use syringe to attack people at random and sow terror.  This is called terrorism ("premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents").  Instead, the comment seems to justify the use of terrorism.  This is not going to convince many people.

On the second comment, Wang Lequan is proposed as the scapegoat to be sacrificed for the sake of reconciliation between the Hans and the Uighurs.  But why is Wang Lequan unsatisfactory to the Uighurs and the Hans?  Because both sides perceived Wang to be tilted towards the other side and they want someone who tilts more to their side.  Why were water bottles thrown at Wang Lequan during his speech?  Because he promised "severely punishing the criminals in accordance with the law" and the demonstrators did not consider this good enough.  To appease these Han demonstrators, the replacement would have to be even more oppressive and draconian, which would upset the Uighurs even more.  So the idea of scapegoat will only postpone the problem temporarily.  It isn't going to lead to reconciliation.)