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April 15, 2011

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Villagers tear down the hurtful 'Wall of Shame'

VILLAGERS in Sanlin Town, Pudong New Area, yesterday tore down the "Wall of Shame," which had been used to "hide" their shabby village as the area is surrounded by modern residential complexes.

The 2-meter-high wall had been built around Zhang's Village in Sanlin two years ago because the community was considered an eyesore with run-down buildings and even a mound of garbage piled two stories high.

Residents in Zhang's Village said the wall was insulting, isolated them from modern society and that they wanted everyone to see how they had been neglected.

Before the wall was torn down, it was about 1.5 kilometers long and encircled the village. There were only two entrances to the community.

"We have swallowed our pride for years, but it shall come to an end," said 62-year-old Zhang Mingxiang.

More than 20 families still live in the village.

Residents placed the wall's remains on Shangbo Road, blocking traffic for hours.

Dongming Neighborhood Committee dispatched policemen and a bulldozer to clear the street, but they were stopped by elderly villagers.

In response, town officials held an emergency meeting with the residents yesterday afternoon. Residents said the officials promised to replace the wall with a fence.

A Pudong Water Authority official said they would work with the town government to improve the village's damaged environment.


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