The following is based on reports in Chinese media:
Hong Kong’s Singtao Daily and SCMP both carry a report on petitioning taxi drivers conducting a mass suicide attempt last Friday, in a busy street in Beijing, in protest of local despotism in their hometown Suifenhe City, Heilongjiang Province.
Those cabbies are all self-employed taxi operators who own their own taxis and have been issued necessary licenses.
What hasn’t been reported so much, however, is the reason for the cabbie’s actions. Their local government is forcing a taxi reform on them. It is forcing them to join other taxi companies, so that they have to pay the companies for their operation.
In addition, they have to replace their vehicles with an expensive brand that will cost each of them more than $20,000. They cannot earn back such a huge investment even with all their income for eight years.
Desperate, the more than 2,000 taxi drivers in the city have held a strike for two weeks in protest, but failed to make the government change its mind.
They sent their representatives to Beijing to complain. The 30 representatives complained to both the State Bureau for Letters and Calls and the Ministry of Transport, but so far to no avail. As a last resort, they made a mass suicide attempt, by drinking poison in Wangfujing Street, the busy shopping area in Beijing.
They proved Confucius’ well-known saying by their sad deeds. Tyranny is indeed fiercer than a tiger!
Source: Singtao Daily “30 petitioning taxi drivers committed suicide at Wanfujing Street” summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)
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