September 21, 2012
BEIJING — Anti-Japan protests in China were encouraged by leaders in Beijing, dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei said on Thursday, after he filmed demonstrators damaging the U.S. ambassador’s car.
“I was quite surprised because we all can see the whole demonstration (against Japan) being prepared by officials,” said Ai, who spent 81 days in jail last year as police rounded up dissidents.
“They tried to picture it as being self-organized, but there were so many details that were obviously very carefully prepared,” he said of the recent protests and rallies against Japan.
“But to use that kind of tactics in this kind of international discussion seems pretty naive. It is like the 1960s.
“They are trying to say that this is self-organized, but it is the encouragement of officials. We all know in China that the last real organized demonstration was crushed by tanks.”
Ai also poured scorn on the protesters themselves. “Anybody watching the groups involved … there are no leaders, no intellectuals,” he said.
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