China says 14 guilty of pollution protest violence
BEIJING (AP) -- China says 14 people have pleaded guilty to encouraging a violent mass protest that forced a local government to scrap a wastewater treatment project north of Shanghai.
The official Xinhua News Agency said the defendants were prosecuted Wednesday on charges of encouraging mass violence against government buildings and intentionally damaging property in Qidong city in Jiangsu province. Xinhua says the sentences will be announced later.
Thousands of people stormed a government compound and turned at least one police car on its side July 28. Xinhua says the defendants smashed office buildings and jumped on cars.
The protesters believed the wastewater from a papermaking plant would not be cleaned enough before being discharged into the sea.
Pollution has become a leading cause of unrest as more Chinese become outspoken about it.