A group of taxi drivers made a very bizarre attempt to garner attention for their grievance when they drank pesticide in an apparent mass suicide protest.
More than 30 Chinese taxi drivers tried to kill themselves in a busy Beijing shopping street this morning by drinking pesticide in a protest over the way taxi companies have renewed the leases of their vehicles.
Police found a group of mainly middle aged men lying on the ground in front of a shopping mall in Wangfujing, with bottles containing pesticide beside them, at about 11am, Beijing police officials said on the force’s official weibo account.
Photos and a video posted on social media by witnesses show the group of men lying unconscious on the ground, surrounded by a large crowd of onlookers.
The men were rushed to a nearby hospital where they are now out of danger, the police report said.
The self-employed taxi drivers are all from Suifenhe city, in Heilongjiang province.
They had travelled to Beijing to protest against the way taxi companies renew leases for vehicles.
Police in Beijing and Heilongjiang are investigating the case.
While they weren’t successful in committing suicide, the protest should not be ignored as a similar suicide protest sparked off the “Islamic Spring” movement when a man lit himself on fire in Tunisia.