Extreme protests a trend: analysts The mainland has recently experienced a series of violent clashes and riots that have forced open the floodgates of pent-up social anger. Up to 30,000 residents in Wengan county, Guizhou province , in the southwest, torched government buildings and burned police cars last weekend to protest against the handling of a local schoolgirl's death. Shanghai was shocked by a bloodbath on Tuesday caused by an unemployed Beijing man who stormed into a district police station armed with homemade bombs and a long knife, and stabbed to death six officers. And yesterday at least 12 people were injured, five seriously, in Zhangjiajie , Hunan province , when a resident ignited liquefied gas containers in a government office building in apparent revenge for the demolition of his property, according to mainland media. Analysts say growing numbers of Chinese have been taking to the street, or resorting to extreme measures, to protest. 'Ironically, as the Chinese economy is soaring, ordinary Chinese - farmers stripped of their land, workers upset about low wages as well as urban dwellers disillusioned by local government policies - are increasingly seeking more channels to air their grievances,' said Jing Tiankui , a sociology professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. 'This shows that public discontent has become widespread, and the underprivileged have been driven to desperation.' And these incidents are happening with the most important event for the country this year - the Olympic Games in Beijing - just over five weeks away. Those caught up in the clashes - mostly farmers, migrant workers and members of ethnic minorities - represented a wide spectrum of disadvantaged groups, Professor Jing observed. 'Unable to voice their discontent, they are often very ready to resort to drastic action when they're stepped on,' he said. In the Zhangjiajie LPG incident, police arrested disgruntled resident Tian Kaiyou soon after the blast, which occurred at about 9am, according to rednet.cn. The man drove a three-wheeled vehicle with two pre-lit bottles into the government building in the Xixiping neighbourhood of Yongding district, the report said. The vehicle sped into the courtyard and exploded in front of the building. News of the blast spread quickly throughout the community. 'We all live in the neighbourhood and heard about the man,' said a resident who did not want to identify himself. 'There are now many rumours here ... We all think he was mad and lost control because of the unfair official compensation for the demolition of his property. 'The government plans to move us off the land and build a new industrial park to attract outside investment.' The resident said the compensation being offered was not enough to buy a similar property in other neighbourhoods. The flawed citizen-petition system, almost the only way the public can seek redress of grievances, also contributes to rising social tension. Mainland media say only two out of every 1,000 cases are resolved. The rapidly escalating public discontent has emerged as the greatest challenge to the central and local government, said Professor Jing. 'If the system is not reformed, the political outcome for the government could be quite disastrous.'