Every so often, grassroots activism succeeds in China.
We saw one this week.
Caving in to public pressure, government officials in the southwestern city of Shifang in Sichuan Province abandoned plans to build a billion-dollar chemical plant.
This came just days after thousands of angry residents took to the streets in protest at the city's bid to build the $1.6 billion Molybdrenum plant.
City officials said it had passed all environmental evaluations, but local residents, worried about long-term pollution and health hazards, said "no."
Defying government and police orders, they marched to the chant of "Protect Shifang's environment, return our beautiful home!"
Soon enough, the mayor conceded and promised to suspend construction. Then on Friday, the city's Communist Party chief was sacked.
"The people have achieved their goals if their protest was just a NIMBY (not in my backyard) movement," the Global Times noted rather acerbically.
But some political observers see beyond parochial backyards.
"It is a stunning case of a local NIMBY movement coalescing with the support of nationwide public opinion through the internet," said Xiao Qiang, a U.S.-based expert on the Chinese internet.