In protest at a flight delay, a few emotional passengers rushed to the parking apron at Guangzhou Baiyun Airport Friday, just two days after more than 20 passengers blocked an airplane from taking off at Shanghai Pudong International Airport.
This form of trying to enforce one's legal rights has become more dramatic in China, from "suicide shows" by migrant workers to get due compensation, to smashing refrigerators with quality problems in public, the more twisting and eye-catching the plots are, the more likely it is that they will succeed.
Blocking airplanes is absolutely the most extreme way for passengers to safeguard their rights. And ironically it worked. The bold passengers of Pudong International Airport each received 1,000 yuan ($159) in compensation.
In this case, stranded passengers were reportedly kept long hours at the airport without proper service. Impatience, anger, and tiredness prompted them to take this extreme route. Many later admitted regretting the decision.
When the passengers crossed the boundary of the law to seek compensation for their violated interests, they became that which they were fighting against.
Recently, when individuals are forced to confront a gigantic entity to secure their interests, they have often resorted to extreme, even violent approaches, as shown in increasing clashes between patients and doctors in hospitals.
Blocking an airplane in this way makes a mockery of the rule of law. It is reported that penalties were applied to these passengers later by local law-enforcement agencies for disturbing public order. It is important to bring these extreme ways under a legal framework.
Admittedly, there are many deficiencies in the mechanisms for the public to protect their rights. The costs can be high and the channels through which to do so are difficult to navigate and not easy to see through to the end.
But if such extreme behavior is encouraged and indulged, the society will be in disorder.
It is urgent that we seek a reasonable way to dissolve obstacles in securing individual interests, otherwise, the normal order on which society operates will be endangered.