About 200 Chinese villagers, angry over pollution of their water supply, attacked three factories and a sewage treatment plant, a Hong Kong newspaper said on Wednesday.
The villagers in the eastern province of Fujian, some armed with iron bars, smashed windows and appliances on Saturday at the sewage plant, two leather factories and a South Korean-invested plastics factory, the South China Morning Post said.
“They rushed into the office building, kitchen, dormitory and grocery store, smashed all the glass, air conditioners and other breakable things and took anything valuable, including kitchen items,” the paper quoted the owner of the Xinde Leather Co. in Quanzhou as saying. Three cars were also destroyed, he said.
Police and local officials later broke up the protest.
Protests against polluting industries are common across China’s countryside, where the environment has all too often been sacrificed in the pursuit of profits. Outright attacks are less widely reported.
Villagers had complained that discharge from the sewage treatment plant, about 1 km (half a mile) from their homes, had polluted the water supply, damaged crops and created a lingering stench, the newspaper said.