Protests against the construction of a paraxylene (PX) plant in Maoming city in China's Guangdong province on Sunday have spread to the provincial capital of Guangzhou. Several hundred protesters gathered in solidarity with residents of Maoming in their opposition to the plant and to denounce police brutality in quelling the demonstration over the weekend. There have been at least three other large campaigns against PX plants in China in recent years, including one in the wealthy coastal city of Xiamen, reports the Wall Street Journal. PX is a chemical used in the production of plastic bottles and other goods. It can cause eye irritation, vomiting, and respiratory problems under some circumstances.
The protests in Maoming started peacefully, according to ABC News, but late in the evening people on motorbikes began throwing bricks, stones, and bottles at riot police, who responded by chasing and beating protestors. There are unconfirmed reports of fatalities and several injuries.