More than 30 taxi drivers in China drank pesticide in an attempted mass public suicide, laying down in the middle of a busy shopping complex in Beijing.
The cabbies were upset over the price of licensing fees and rules about exchanging vehicles.
Although 10 men were seriously affected, all of them were declared OK after they were taken to local hospitals.
Photos posted on social media by witnesses showed the taxi drivers lying unconscious, surrounded by a large crowd. One Weibo user, according to the translation provided by Quartz, said, “At what point did we have to start relying on death to get attention to our rights?” while another quoted Chinese war strategist and philosopher Lao Tse, saying, “The people do not fear death.”
30 taxi drivers from Suifenhe, Heilongjiang staged protest in Beijing Sat, appealing for right to renew taxi licenses pic.twitter.com/yaE81yCNFn— People's Daily,China (@PDChina) April 4, 2015
And here's a video:
The drivers were all from Suifenhe city in Heilongjiang, which borders Russia, the Beijing Public Security Bureau stated on social media.
"They came to Beijing to express their demands on contract and vehicle renewal," the BPS statement said.
"We arrived by train on Monday but got no response after taking our complaint to both the State Bureau for Letters and Calls and the Ministry of Transport," a protester told Chinese media outlet Caixin, according to South China Morning Post.
Such protests against authorities are common in China. Earlier in January, drivers complained they have to work more than 12-hour days and have to pay taxi companies as well as earn a living.
“I get up before 6 a.m. every morning and sit for about 14 hours a day, only to get 2,000 yuan a month. That’s unbearable,” a taxi driver in Nanjing told China Daily in an interview. He earns around $322, which is just enough to pay the rent of a 50 square-meter apartment in the city’s downtown area.