Last week I wrote a post where I expressed some views on Ai WeiWei and other dissidents. This attracted an unexpected number of comments, and it even inspired a podcast in the best blog about China in Spanish, Zaichina. All in all, it has been a long and fruitful exchange, so I want to thank everyone for participating with an open mind. Below I write the conclusions I drew.
It is unfortunate that all this discussion started with a response to Osnos’ blog, because it caused the whole debate to turn around that. I regret that by doing this I have upset some people I respect, who were actively demanding Ai’s release. The fact is I disagree with and even dislike many of Ai and Liu’s statements, but now that they’ve been imprisoned for speaking out their views, there is only one right thing to do. This blog stands for Freedom of Speech.
So I have decided to borrow the banner from the roof of the Tate Museum and hang it on my own roof until my next posting, or until my blog goes down, whichever happens first. It represents not only Ai and Liu, but any person who has been imprisoned merely for having different ideas or for exposing hideous crimes, like the American hero Bradley Manning. Click to continue »