Lawyers, scholars and rights activists have called on the central government and the Guangdong Provincial People's Congress to look into the complaints of Taishi residents protesting for the removal of their village head. In a declaration with 27 signatures posted online yesterday, they also criticised the government of Yuwotou township, Panyu district , for allegedly sending police to intimidate villagers. Protest organiser Guo Feixiong said the lawyers had added their signatures to the declaration first amid concerns over the protection of civil rights. He hoped hundreds of signatures he expected to be added this week would prompt action from the authorities. 'We wish the local government to have the courage to maintain a fair administrative, legal and political framework, and show it has more patience and democratic and legal spirit than the villagers,' the declaration reads. 'We also urge media and society to supervise the local government to make sure it will not retaliate against villagers.' The declaration also urges the villagers to end their protest and seek a legal solution. Fellow protest organiser Wang Yi said he hoped it would also arouse more public participation in politics. The petition comes amid repeated protests by Taishi residents calling for the dismissal of village chief Chen Jinsheng , who they accuse of embezzling village funds.