He had company. A busload of volunteers in matching red hats was bumping along the village’s rutted dirt road. Employees from a private company in
“I haven’t done this before,” said Mr. Hao, 36, as he straddled his mountain bike on Saturday evening. “Ordinary people now understand how to take action on their own.”
From the moment the earthquake struck on May 12, the Chinese government dispatched soldiers, police officers and rescue workers in the type of mass mobilization expected of the ruling Communist Party.
But an unexpected mobilization, prompted partly by unusually vigorous and dramatic coverage of the disaster in the state-run news media, has come from outside official channels. Thousands of Chinese have streamed into the quake region or donated record sums of money in a striking and unscripted public response.
[Excerpt of an article by Jim Yardley and David Barboza, The New York Times]