'Bird man' faces court for sitting in tree

A MAN in southwestern China who lived in a eucalyptus tree for more than three months to protest the planned demolition of his home is being tried for disturbing public order.

Chen Maoguo was dubbed the "bird man" for his tree-top sit-in last year in the Chongqing region, staged to protest what he considered inadequate compensation for the razing of his home, the Yunnan Information News said.

His home was one of many to be knocked down to make way for a shopping mall in Fengjie county.

However, his unusual protest beginning last August attracted crowds and media attention, leading to his arrest in November for disturbing public order, said the report, posted on the popular Chinese web portal

During his demonstration, Mr Chen pulled all of his food, water, clothing and other needs up by rope into the small makeshift shelter he constructed in a eucalyptus tree, it said.

The report said Mr Chen was to appear in a local court today. It did not say how old Mr Chen was, or what penalties he could face.

Land seizures, often involving corrupt officials and businesses eyeing real estate profits, have been a growing source of unrest in China.

The problem stirred an uproar last year as a property boom and resulting rash of mass evictions caused a number of violent clashes, protests and even suicides by stubborn homeowners.


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