tirsdag 19. desember 2017

In Beijing, helping freezing migrants will get you in trouble with the law

Inside room B209 at the Family of Fortune and Prosperity apartment building near Beijing's capital airport, You Juhong's eyes brim with tears as she speaks. "In 2008, Beijing welcomed you. In 2016, Beijing hated you. In 2017, Beijing expelled you. In 2018, Beijing won't even bother to see you," she says in quiet fury. Those lines, a parody of a Beijing Olympics slogan, have become the bitter chorus for tens of thousands of people like Ms. You, workers who came to the city from other parts of China but are being evicted from their homes in the cold of winter, after the local government declared their homes unsafe.

Now, as the Communist Party asserts a renewed dominance over life in China, authorities in Beijing are also clamping down on those who have tried to help the newly homeless. That has left people like Ms. You, a hotel worker, with few options outside of leaving, as even those who might want to offer assistance are barred from doing so.