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> Voices of dissent in China, scared silent. Authorities tightening the squeeze on the southern village of Wukan on Wednesday. Riot police patrolling the streets and 70 people detained. A day after what villagers describe as a wild crackdown on protests. Reuters's James Pomfret is reporting from the town that's known for not backing down.
>> We're just seeing this tense mood continuing here for another day. We managed to get into the village, despite a very tight security cordon that was maintained around the perimeter. And this village made global headlines in 2011 for standing up against Communist party authorities here in China. And fresh unrest has recently erupted again here in Wukan.
The massive street battles between riot police and the villagers. And what they're doing is demanding the release of their former village chief, Lindsu Luan, who they claim is innocent of the corruption charges that authorities brought against them.>> Is something of a symbol in Wukan. He was chosen as village head five years ago after locals demanded and got permission to hold their own elections, that's extremely rare in China.
But civil society has taken a beating under President Xi Jinping, although that hasn't been enough to break the people of Wukan, yet.>> Things are really building up ahead of steam again In this hot spot sort of civil disobedience. Wukan really is very symbolic of the willingness for allowing the public to have a great to say to demand justice.
And it gives the sense for what level of tolerance authorities have for this kind of grievance.>> Media report say, police are now on the hunt for five of the protest leaders, offering a $15,000 reward for information that could help track them down.