Dozens of residents from a fishing space in north-central Vietnam protested this week in opposition to the development of a port undertaking, regardless of police launching a felony investigation into them for disturbing public order, demonstrators stated.
On Wednesday, Thanh Hoa provincial authorities mobilized dozens of cops to power protesting fishermen – primarily ladies – to depart the development web site the place a dock is being constructed, one of many sources stated. Though they stayed, police took no motion in opposition to them and left the realm round midday.
About 300 residents of Hai Ha Municipality took to the streets for the primary time on the morning of October 23 with banners and indicators to point out their opposition to the Lengthy Son Container Port undertaking, which they are saying will negatively affect their livelihoods and dwelling atmosphere.
“We do not need the Lengthy Son Container Port undertaking as a result of it’s within the coastal space we inherited from our ancestors, and it has been handed down from technology to technology,” stated a villager on Wednesday who declined to be named for worry of reprisals by the authorities.
Fishing offers the one revenue to cowl her household’s bills, together with her kids’s schooling prices, she stated.
“If the port is constructed, residents like us will likely be adversely affected by air pollution, and there will likely be no locations for our boats to anchor and no locations for us to commerce seafood,” she stated.
Lengthy Son Ltd. Co. is investing greater than $30 million in building of the 15-acre undertaking, which can function a 250-meter (820-foot) dock. It’s anticipated to be operational in 2025.
In accordance with the state-owned Vietnam Information Company, the undertaking will play an important function within the improvement of the primary devoted container port space at Nghi Son Port. As soon as constructed, Dock No. 3 will function a dike in opposition to waves and wind and create a 10-hectare wetland space the place native fishermen can safely anchor their boats.
The port is anticipated to generate revenue and jobs in Thanh Hoa province, together with Hai Ha municipality.
State media reported that Thanh Hoa provincial authorities have carried out thorough investigations and environmental assessments and consulted locals concerning the undertaking. However the lady stated that representatives of the authorities solely went to individuals’s houses to persuade them to not oppose the undertaking and its implementation.
The October 23 protest prompted Nghi Son metropolis police to file costs in opposition to them for obstructing site visitors and inflicting a kilometer-long reversing digicam.
Police on the scene took photographs of the protesters, recorded movies and gathered different data, some villagers concerned within the demonstration stated.
Police additionally issued an order requiring residents of Hai Ha to obey the regulation and never collect in teams to disrupt public order, incite others or be enticed to forestall the development of Dock No. 3 of hinder the Lengthy Son Container Port undertaking.
Threatened with arrest
Police threatened them with arrest for disturbing the peace – which carries a jail sentence of as much as seven years – in the event that they continued.
Hai Ha Municipality consists of almost 3,000 households with roughly 11,000 residents, most of whom depend on fishing for his or her livelihood. The villagers say they worry port officers will minimize off their entry to the waters the place they fish and ban them from anchoring their boats.
Villagers ignored the police order and continued their protest on Tuesday and Wednesday, hoping to forestall the dock’s building.
The girl quoted above stated that the villagers usually are not afraid to go to jail as a result of they don’t wish to lose their house seaside.
But when they’ve to maneuver because of lack of livelihood, villagers will anticipate passable compensation and a brand new residential space with house to soundly anchor their boats, she stated.
“We organized a march and didn’t offend or hurt anybody,” she stated. “None of us insulted the police. We adopted the site visitors regulation, [and] we walked alongside the facet of the street and stood in strains.”
The port will be a part of 4 different industrial initiatives across the 1,200-hectare municipality. The others are a cement manufacturing unit, a coal delivery port within the north, a thermal energy plant within the west and a metal mill within the south.
Whereas the initiatives have created jobs for locals, they’ve additionally precipitated critical environmental air pollution, negatively impacting the lives of residents, a second lady stated.
Translated by Anna Vu for RFA Vietnamese. Edited by Roseanne Gerin and Malcolm Foster.