Chinese villagers attack polluting leather factories and sewage plant

Environmental protests are increasingly common in China, where environmental protection often takes a backseat to cronyism and profit-making. But a group of 200 Chinese villagers in the eastern province of Fujian, fed up with drinking polluted water, took things a step further. Armed with iron bars, they attacked two leather factories, a plastics factory, and a sewage-treatment plant. “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,” said the owner of one of the leather factories. Villagers had complained that the sewage plant, about a half-mile from their homes, polluted water, damaged crops, and smelled like, well, sewage. Ew.