The Gloves Come Off

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From the Associated Press comes a story today about police shutting down a protest by angry parents in Sichuan:

(DUJIANGYAN, China) — Chinese police dragged away more than 100 parents Tuesday while they were protesting the deaths of their children in poorly constructed schools that collapsed in last month’s earthquake.

The parents, many holding pictures of their dead children, were pulled down the street away from a courthouse in Dujiangyan, a resort city northeast of the Sichuan provincial capital of Chengdu.

“Why?” some of them yelled. “Tell us something,” they said as black-suited police wearing riot helmets yanked at them.

The parents’ anger and their protests are the most politically sensitive issue surrounding the disaster. Generally the government’s rescue and recovery efforts have been sound, but the destruction of so many schools is an issue that won’t go away until a serious investigation is carried out. It seemed like the authorities would go easy on the families, given that they lost their children. But perhaps such benevolence will be short-lived. After all, it’s almost been a month already.