Fishermen in Vietnam clashed with authorities over the dumping of toxic waste in their fishing grounds.
Hundreds of lifelong Vietnamese fishermen took to the streets to protest and demand compensation after a Taiwanese firm dumped toxic waste that killed scores of fish.
The protestors were trying to march on a steel plant owned by Taiwan Conglomerate Formosa Plastics when police stepped in and tried to stop them. It was then that some of the marching fishermen were detained, beaten, and arrested.
Protest leader and priest Nguyen Dinh Thuc told Reuters,
“Police beat me, they caused a few scratches.”
While the huge conglomerate Formosa Ha Tinh Steel has already paid some $500 million in compensatory fees, these Vietnamese fishermen are determined to file hundreds more lawsuits seeking damages for the crime of killing millions of fish along a 120-mile stretch of the country’s coastline.
Hundreds in the crowd held up signs that read “Help Us Sue Formosa” Although many of the fish are said to be rare species that live well off shore, even more were staples of the fishermen for market and family use.
It’s not known at this time if or how many of the species were sport fish.
The entire incident sparked unprecedented protesting. The challenge now, for a communist government that is known for suppressing dissent and rarely faces large demonstrations, is to do the right thing and bring those responsible to justice.