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Chinese police clamp down on chemical plant protests in Maoming

Published on Apr 4, 2014 5:40 PM

BEIJING (REUTERS) - Police in China are briskly dispersing a wave of protests against a chemical plant in the country's south, activists said on Friday, as demonstrators prepared to hold more rallies over the weekend.

The protests began last Sunday in the city of Maoming, where officials plan to build a chemical plant to make paraxylene, a petrochemical used to make plastic bottles and fabrics, but which can be toxic if ingested.

Protests against paraxylene plants are not uncommon in China, but this one is unusual because images of police brutality on Sunday incensed many who saw them online before they were deleted by censors.

On Friday, police halted a march by about 20 demonstrators who had gathered in front of a theatre in the manufacturing city of Shenzhen, one protest organiser said.

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