Most of the rebellions are linked to demands against the expropriation of lands or for the payment of compensation for the confiscated land. Some, howver, have a markedly political character.
Midway through December, 2004, 50,000 workers of rural origin held demonstrations and confrontations with the police in the province of Guangdong after police beat a 15-year-old adolescent peasant to death, accusing him of having stolen a bicycle.
In the same province, peasants from the village of Taishi mobilized for months demanding the dismissal of the mayor. The mayor, member of the Communist party, is the head of a band of delincuents. The growing number of take-overs of villages and municipalities at the hands of these bands has led some Chinese intellectuals to speak in terms of a “gansterization” of the countryside. In spite of the threats and the beatings received by many of them, the peasants were able to wrest the convening of a recall referendum.