Faced with a group of farmers refusing to give up their land for a housing project, the Communist Party officials negotiating the deal devised a solution: They went to a bank, opened accounts in the names of the holdouts and deposited what they decided was fair compensation. Then they took the land.
"We are working together to build a more prosperous Kim Son," said Vu Van Hoc, chairman of the local people's committee.
He said the project used land that had been owned by 852 families, and that less than 10 percent of them disagreed with the government's compensation rate of around $6 per square meter. He said just seven families were continuing to refuse the deal.
Villagers now allege the land has been resold for $310 per square meter. Hoc denied that, saying the land had yet to be sold.
He said he hoped that by depositing the money into bank accounts in the villagers' names, "the issue could be resolved." He dismissed the protest in late December as the work of "village extremists who had managed to persuade others" to join.
Notice that Mr. Hoc did not deny the price, just that the deal was finalized. And it's always those damn extremists. Probably Vietnamese "teabaggers".
Video of the protest was recorded by people on their cellphones and posted on the Internet by dissident groups, which seek to capitalize on the public anger generated by the conflicts.
For two minutes, police cowered behind riot shields as young men hurled rocks and bits of concrete at them, but officers eventually regained control.
State media reported that 12 people were arrested. The police chief refused to identify them, or to say whether they were still in detention weeks later.
Good thing they took all the guns away. That could have gotten ugly.
Read the whole thing. The government's lines are pure propaganda, yet sound somehow vaguely familiar. We have already had the Kelo decision, and we have property taxes, so I'm not sure we are any better than serfs on the manor.
But we are better armed.
It's always the same, though. Somebody knows better what to do and how to manage than does the individual. We always have to consider the greater good. The government can always find a handful of intimidated, bought-off peasants to glowingly endorse the tyrants' decisions.
We have no excuse if we let it happen here.