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Taxi drivers protest in Beijing shopping district

April 4, 2015

BEIJING (AP) — More than 30 taxi drivers staged a rare demonstration in Beijing’s famed Wangfujing shopping district Saturday to protest working conditions, police in the Chinese capital said.

The drivers were found lying on the ground in front of an office building at around 11 a.m. Saturday and were transported to local hospitals, Beijing police said in a statement on their official microblog.

It said that bottles of liquid pesticide were found scattered nearby, but that none of the protesters’ lives were in jeopardy and it wasn’t clear if any had ingested the poison.

The statement said the drivers had come to Beijing from the city of Suifen in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang and were upset over the price of licensing fees and rules on exchanging vehicles. It said Beijing police were working with their out of town colleagues on settling the matter.

The protest mirrored similar ones in Beijing staged by laid-off workers complaining about grievances. Taxi drivers have also staged protests in a number of cities recently to demand a reduction in the monthly licensing fees that consume most of their incomes.

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