On July 21, more than 300 protesters were stopped by a SWAT team in Lindong while they were protesting the CCP appropriation of their lands.
by Massimo Introvigne
Bitter Winter has reported recently on how the CCP is trying to destroy the Mongolian identity in Inner Mongolia (that Mongols prefer to call Southern Mongolia), by limiting the use of Mongolian language and arresting Mongol intellectuals.
As Southern Mongolian human rights activist Enghebatu Togochog told Bitter Winter, one way of destroying this identity is through pseudo-ecological policies called “Ecological Migration” and “Total Ban Over Livestock Grazing.”
Ostensibly, the CCP promotes these policies to “recover the grassland ecosystem” in Inner/Southern Mongolia. But in fact, Enghebatu said, “the aim of these policies is to completely wipe out rural pastoralist communities, and put an end to the Mongolian nomadic way of life. Herders’ lands are grabbed by the local governments and Chinese extractive industries without free, prior, and informed consent. Thousands of herders who protested illegal land appropriation have been arrested, detained, and imprisoned.”
Following a two-month protest, on July 21, 2020, more than 300 Mongolian herders from the sum (township) Bayan-uul, in Sonid Left Banner (a banner is an administrative unit equivalent to a county) gathered in front of the banner government building in Lindong.
They hold large signs reading, “We want justice. Return our legal rights,” “We strongly protest government officials ganging up with thugs to oppress the people!” “We strongly protest government officials disregarding laws to destroy people’s livelihoods!” and “The banner government must return our legal rights to us.”
They asked to meet the governor, but police and a SWAT team blocked the entrance to the building and pushed back the protesters. Since the beginning of the protest, 200 herders have been arrested. “Ecology, one herder said, is just a pretext to rob us of our ancestral land and give it to Chinese mining industries.”
Another herder told the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC) that, “The government is abusing its power to bully the herders and destroy our land and livelihoods.”