“Beijing tells foreigners that they can understand the city, that we have the same sort of buildings: the Bird’s Nest, the CCTV tower. Officials who wear a suit and tie like you say we are the same and we can do business. But they deny us basic rights. You will see migrants’ schools closed. You will see hospitals where they give patients stitches—and when they find the patients don’t have any money, they pull the stitches out. It’s a city of violence.”
-BEIJING-BORN ARTIST AND POLITICAL ACTIVIST AI WEIWEI.
From an essay written for Newsweek, in which Ai rails against the spiritually and politically bankrupt culture of his hometown.