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December 31, 2010

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Residents prepare for battle after attack by 200 'gangsters'

LOCAL residents in a lane of Yangpu District, who are scheduled to be relocated for a renovation project of the area, have gathered together and are preparing to fight people who attacked them at 4:20am on Wednesday.

Bricks, molotov cocktails and firecrackers have been prepared in a four-storey building at 28 Lane 431 Tongbei Road, with Liu Haowu and his neighbors on alert following the attack.

They are worried about another battle after hundreds of migrant workers raided Liu's house armed with ladders, iron tubes and bricks.

"They are organized -gangsters and they tried to kill us," Liu told Shanghai Daily last night. "I will fight to my last breath."

The recent conflict happened at 4:20am, Liu recalled, who fought more than 200 -migrant workers with the help of his neighbors.

The unidentified workers, wearing yellow helmets, surrounded Liu's house and started to throw bricks at his windows. They tried to approach the house and catch Liu who was on the top floor and fighting by throwing molotov cocktails and firecrackers, witnesses said.

The fight lasted for about an hour, but the migrants failed to catch Liu and left the house severely damaged with many of the windows smashed. A couple who live next door to Liu's house were seriously injured in the face by bricks and some others were also hurt.

"We were told to stay at home, otherwise, we would be beaten up by them," said a neighbor surnamed Huang.

Huang said her mother tried to get out and see what was going on, but was pushed back by some of the workers.

"We called the police, but no one came," Liu said.

However, some neighbors said they had seen police officers and urban planning teams -outside the lane.

Liu's house was scheduled to be demolished this year, with himself and his family being relocating to the Pudong New Area. However, negotiations between Liu and the relocation office of the area did not go well.

After months of talks, no progress was made and Liu's house was finally ordered to be demolished by force, said a notice outside the lane.

"They should never do this to us residents," said Xu Lijun, Liu's neighbor who helped him to fight during the prolonged attack. "If they take over Liu, then the next one will be me, so we neighbors should stand together."

"I was told that if I don't move, I will die," Liu said, who was threatened by members from a local gangster in November. "And I said, 'If it has to be this way, so be it.'"


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