In 2004, several hundred taxi drivers in Dazhou city, Sichuan province, were ordered by the local government to re-purchase their taxi licenses, despite the fact that they had already bought them some years earlier on what they were officially told at the time would be a permanent basis. After attempting without success to negotiate with the local government, the taxi drivers then staged a series of mass public demonstrations in Dazhou city centre over a several-month period in 2004.
However, the major obstacle in their path was clearly the fact that the body they were appealing to for help, and the body that they felt had wronged them in the first place, were one and the same – the local government. After adopting this case, CLB was able to convince the taxi drivers that despite this seemingly intractable difficulty, legal means might still be found to solve their fundamental livelihood dilemma. We hired a local lawyer to represent the Dazhou taxi drivers in an administrative lawsuit against the local government, and he is currently compiling the necessary evidence and preparing for the court hearing.