In continuing protests over land grabs and a suspicious death, residents of Wukan, a village in southern China, have threatened to march on the local government office.

The protest blockade began Dec. 10 following the death of a butcher named Xue Jinbo in police custody. Xue was organizing  residents who say their land was taken illegally for development.

According to the residents, a vast area of land was acquired illegally by corrupt officials acting in collusion with developers. Even after repeated appeals to higher officials, no action was taken. This resulted in the beginning of protest in September.

One government office was pillaged by the residents who also clashed with the police.

A big march is planned Wednesday and so far the authorities have not announced measures to stop it. But local officials are trying to defuse the situation.

Communist Party leaders from neighboring villages have traveled to Wukan to meet with the elected leadership of the village.

The paramilitary police, who are equipped with automatic rifles, have been patrolling outside the village. They have also set up roadblocks along the main roads of the region. But so far the police have not entered into the village.

It is expected that the higher level of government will step in to contan the unrest.