Shouting Out Against Demolition


The forced demolition of properties and removal of residents, or qiangzhi chaiqian (强制拆迁), is a major ongoing problem in China as cities continue their rapid expansion, and as the confiscation and development of land remains the major source of revenue for most city governments. The above cartoon, a poster drawn by “Easy Home Zhu Shimao” (轻松家朱时毛) and posted to Sina Weibo, speaks out against forced demolition. The man with a goatee and sunglasses is Zuo Xiao (左小), a well-known Chinese singer whose home in the city of Changzhou now faces demolition. He sits atop his home, which is labeled “condemned,” and clenches a fist in defiance. He holds a megaphone that labeled “microblog,” suggesting that like many others facing demolition Zuo Xiao is now turning to social media to make his case known. Behind Zuo Xiao is a sea of other megaphones. The large white characters on the poster read: “Opposing forced demolition concerns both you and me.” The Weibo post reads:

He’s held so many concerts before, but this time he [Zuo Xiao] really needs web users to sing along with him: opposing forced demolition concerns both you and me! You need to care today about someone else facing demolition because tomorrow it could be you going up against the heartless digging machine! Old Zhu [the artist, Zhu Shimao] drew this picture especially to support Zuo Xiao. If we don’t have the protection of a roof over our heads, then our fate is to be hogs!

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