Chine : une marée montante de manifestation

En Chine, les mouvements de protestation ne sont pas une nouveauté, il y aurait quelques 50.000 manifestations chaque année ŕ travers le pays. La corruption généralisée génčre un profond mécontentement : les travailleurs manifestent contre le détournement de leurs économies, les citadins se révoltent contre la confiscation illégale de leur terrain et les villageois se battent au quotidien contre des injustices de toutes natures.

En général, ces manifestations ont un caractčre local et se concluent par une combinaison de compensation financičre, d'arrestations et de promesses d'amélioration. Parfois, le gouvernement prend des mesures ŕ l'encontre des fonctionnaires locaux dont les abus sont trop manifestes. Aussi longtemps que les manifestations restent cantonnées au niveau local, elles peuvent ętre gérées comme des cas isolés qui ne vont pas faire tache d'huile ou déclencher un mouvement de plus grande ampleur en faveur d'un changement systémique. Mais l'époque oů le gouvernement parvient ŕ étouffer sans trop de difficulté ces mouvements de contestation risque de toucher ŕ sa fin. Depuis un an et demi, les organisations non gouvernementales chinoises (ONG) spécialisées dans la protection de l'environnement organisent des actions qui dépassent le cadre provincial. Elles impliquent des personnes de toutes origines sociales, obtiennent le soutien des médias chinois et critiquent l'incapacité du gouvernement dans ce domaine au niveau national.

Ces mouvements de grande ampleur ont été catalysés par le projet de construction de centaines de barrages ŕ travers l'ouest du pays. En Chine, la construction de barrage n'a jamais fait l'objet d'un débat public. Les militants écologistes chinois avaient jusqu'ŕ présent consacré leurs efforts ŕ des questions politiquement peu risquées telles que la protection de la biodiversité, le recyclage des déchets et l'éducation ŕ la protection de l'environnement.

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