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After the riots

I filed a story this week looking at the causes of recent unrest in China, concentrating on riots that began in Dadun Village in Guangdong Province. My story and others covered the complex set of factors that set those events in motion, but I wanted to also share a sense of what the place looks like.

The first image is of a charred car, a motif of the violence, but the rest give a snapshot of street life in the days after. The area is full of young people, almost all migrant workers who've come to work in shops that sew and package denim jeans. Among the usual complaints about low wages and tough work conditions, many I interviewed said they were angry about local security units.

One man who works at a corner grocery very close to where the initial fracas began told me: "The public security teams come to shops’ doors and say they need fees for one thing or the other, but they’re really just collecting protection money."

(Additional overage by CNN's Eunice Yoon can be found here and more from Jeremy Page in The Wall Street Journal is here.)

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The stain of protection money is present in all the politically polluted countries of the world. Poor people are forced to pay an extra judicial tax from their hard earned incomes.

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"China Rises" is written by Tom Lasseter, the Beijing bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers.

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