BEIJING (dpa) – Police detained at least 24 people after hundreds protested plans to build a garbage incinerator in the southern province of Guangdong, reports said on Monday.
Around 1,000 protesters marched through Luoyang town in Guangdong’s Boluo county on Saturday to oppose the building of the incinerator, the China Daily newspaper and other state media said.
The police had detained 24 people by Sunday and promised leniency to other “lawless” protesters who gave themselves up within three days of the apparently peaceful protest.
Eight of the 24 people detained were released following police cautions, the newspaper said.
“The protest was organized by a handful of lawless people and participated in by people who did not know the truth,” it quoted a police statement as saying.
Some protesters had “disturbed social order” and caused traffic jams during the protest, the statement said.
The newspaper quoted local officials as saying the protest was inspired by rumours and that the government had still not identified a site for the incinerator.
Some protesters called for a public hearing on the incinerator project.
Police had dispersed the crowd by mid-morning Saturday “after efforts by government departments to calm the protesters,” and no injuries were reported, the newspaper said.
The protest is the latest in a growing number of rallies across China to oppose local plans for factories, refineries, garbage incinerators and other facilities seen as causing environmental pollution.