It appears that Ai Weiwei’s blog has been closed. Visitors to the blog receive the following error message:
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Ai Weiwei’s blog received international recognition after he and a group of others used it as a platform to publish student casualty name lists in connection with the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. In the past, individual posts were censored, with a large number recensored even after Ai’s reposting attempts. It is not known whether the blog’s close is temporary. The blog’s mirror locations at Sohu and NetEase are also similarly unavailable.
Ai’s Bullogger site is available, though the most recent posts from the Sina/Sohu/NetEase blogs from May 28th are not up. Note: In the past, Ai Weiwei also had a blog hosted on Bullog.cn, an influential blog portal that was shut down in January 2009. Shortly after its close, Bullogger was created, and was hosted outside of China. Because of this, Ai’s Bullogger site is still accessible. (h/t Catherine A. Yeung of Under the Jacaranda Tree.)
Two of Ai’s most recent posts before the blog shutdown have been reposted to the China GFW blog. Translated by CDT:
“I’m ready” – 5/28/09
“Be careful! Are you ready?”
I’m ready. That is to say, I have nothing to prepare. As an individual — this is my all. Other people might be able to take it; I can offer it up. At the time of need, I will not hesitate, I will not be unclear.
If there’s anything I’m reluctant to leave, it’s the miracles that life has brought. The miracles are that we’re all the same, the game that everyone is equal, and the fantasies and freedoms that follow. From whatever right and from whatever kind of threat, I view these as menaces to people’s dignity and rationality, as menaces to life’s potential. I want to learn how to face them. Rest assured, I learn rather quickly; I won’t let you down. Those rights of those children who lost their lives not long ago, their group has perished. They helped me to understand the significance of an individual life and society.
Reject cynicism, reject cooperation, reject threats, reject “drinking tea“. In regards to these questions, there is nothing to discuss. Here’s a few words: Don’t come again to find me, I will not cooperate. If you must come, then bring your instrument of punishment.
(2) “Don’t have any unrealistic illusions about me” – 5/28/09
That day will likely arrive. These two days, I’ve been a little busy. I’ve had to bring myself to the Public Securities Bureau (PSB); there was another misunderstanding.
Two days ago, I called 110 [China’s emergency number] to make a report to send an officer without ID to the PSB. Today, I called 110 again 3 times to send two plainsclothed officers who had been tracking me to the PSB.
To summarize for a moment: the aforementioned national securities, as are the public securities, the plainsclothed officers, the 110 dispatch, and the security bureau’s officers. My behavior is not directed at you, nor is your behavior directed at me. If I wounded your self-esteem, then I sincerely apologize; there was a misunderstanding.
You are just performing your duties — doesn’t matter what kind of duties, so long as they’re for survival, they can be totally understood.
What I must clarify is that I am an individual, I must protect my rights, and no one can force me.
I can tolerate the deletion of my blog, the phonetapping, and the surveillance of my residence.
But you barged into my home, and threatened me in front of my 76-year-old mother, I could no longer stand it. With plainsclothed officers on my tail, threatening my life’s safety, I could no longer stand it. You don’t understand human rights, so how much do you know the constitution? You need to hear this clearly:
1. All that is under heaven and earth is yours. You must do things in a just and honorable way.
2. In law enforcement, you must keep to the law, you must bring police ID. In these two days, 5 officers did not had ID, 2 posed as “civilians.” Before you find another profession, respect this one.
3. Civilians are not weak persimmons [look strong on the outside, but soft to the touch]. Today can be trifled with, but it is not certain that tomorrow can be. Do not eat, take, and then turn your face and not recognize people.
4. Do not look for me to “have a talk.” It is not appropriate to apply others’ conversation experiences to me. Remember to study much and go on the Internet much.
5. Order must be clear; avoid passivity. Past experiences were bad; heed the profound lesson of the Shanghai Zhabei substation [the policemen that Yang Jia killed were from Zhabei].
6. During a 110 dispatch, speak clearly, be cultivated. On this, you get praise; I love you for this. You have my number, and can contact me privately.
7. Female policemen are better than male policemen. This seems to be my weakness. I am biased.
8. And also this: this is your work, don’t do things you are not supposed to do. Because with improper law enforcement, losing a job is a small thing. Ruining the party’s image and the nation’s quality is bad.
9. Also, don’t have any unrealistic illusions about me.
10. To be continued …
Update: Danwei’s latest post features a discussion from prominent human rights lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan on Ai Weiwei’s right to refuse to chat, as well as two translations of his Ai’s later blog posts (including a translation of the post immediately above). An excerpt of Liu Xiaoyuan’s piece:
Ai went with them to the police station to make a statement [in regards to the arrival of plainsclothed policemen at his home to ‘have a chat’], and when he asked for a written acknowledgement of the report, the police would not give him one. He didn’t know whether or not this was legal, so he called up to ask.
After I gave him a basic explanation, I hung up, but probably only ten minutes later Ai called again and said that the police wouldn’t let him go, and he’d kicked at the main door several times. It turned out that after Ai had gone into the station, someone was worried that he would leave on his own, and so locked the door. Ai called 110 again, and when the police saw him fuming they hurried to open the door.
Ai said, I’m not sure what you’ve called me here for. When they came, they only said they wanted to chat. Ai thought that since they didn’t know each other and had no common language, so there was no point to wasting their time. Ai speaks bluntly and doesn’t mince words, while the approach of the “rice steamers” is to strike up an inconsequential conversation and then when you’re frustrated enough, come out with the real topic. Seeing his lack of frankness and his refusal to show ID, Ai could only choose to call the police.
[…] From a legal standpoint, citizens have the right to refuse to chat. This is a citizen’s fundamental right. If someone is unwilling, forcing him to “chat” is harassment and an infringement of his rights.
Update 2, 6/1/09: Ai Weiwei is blogging again. Read more about it here on CDT.