8000 primary and middle school teachers in the Zhaodong province of China have been taking strike action this week because they are not receiving the salaries they had been promised and their salaries are lower than teachers in surrounding counties.

Thousands of teachers protested outside local government offices every day this week, until some of their number were detained by police and police vans blocked the offices. Teachers said that they did not know how many of their colleagues had been arrested.

One teacher told reporters: "We dared to go to government headquarters because our numbers were large. The law can’t punish a crowd. Many of us wore big hats and masks so we wouldn’t be recognised in police photos and videos.”

According to the official Chinese news service, Global Times: 'Strikes and protests, commonly adopted in the West in struggles for interests, are basically incompatible with the Chinese system.' They go on ominously: 'It is rules, rather than protests, that should command the utmost authority. Whoever breaks the rules needs to assume the responsibility.'

It is brave of teachers to take action under these conditions and this website has reported on several strikes of teachers in the last few months, including contract teachers demanding proper pay and contracts and the introduction of performance related pay.