what are the forces of dark evil?

So there actually is an office dedicated to “sweeping away black and removing evil (扫黑除恶办)” office in the Shenzhen Government and they’re sending text messages to my phone. The program aims to forward the spirit of Xi Jinping’s vision for society. My problem is that I don’t actually know what groups and or behaviors the phrase “黑恶势力 (forces of dark evil?!)” refers to. On the face of it, it might be corruption, but then again, the full title of the program is “扫黑除恶专项斗争 (a special struggle to sweep away black and remove evil)” which, of course, gives rise to all sorts of CR alarm bells, especially because we’ve been given telephone numbers to report on the evil forces in our midst. But who are they? In the cartoon, for example, the target seem to be village heads and rooting out traditional alliances. According to Baidu, the project is targeting gangs and triads. And if this is in fact the case, what are they doing in my middle class neighborhood? Am I living next to gang members? So its hard not to feel that the program seems less about “using law to govern (依法治国)” than it does about the increasing militarization of society.

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