"BEIJING — A week of protests against the planned expansion of a petrochemical plant in the port city of Ningbo turned violent on Friday and Saturday when demonstrators attacked police cars and tossed bricks and water bottles at officers, according to accounts from participants posted on the Internet."
"The protesters, who witnesses said numbered in the thousands, were opposing the expansion of a state-run Sinopec plant, which is already one of the nation’s largest refineries. Local residents, citing environmental concerns, have been demanding that the government move the plant from Ningbo, a prosperous city of 3.4 million in Zhejiang Province, not far from Shanghai.
The clashes come at a delicate time for the government, as it prepares for a once-a-decade change in leadership that is scheduled to begin on Nov. 8 during a weeklong series of meetings in Beijing. Public concerns about industrial pollution have become a problem for the governing Communist Party, which often backs economic growth over public concerns about environmental degradation."