【 The Nonprofit Quarterly 】   Post Date: 12/3/2011
Ai Weiwei Hit with $2.4 Million Tax Bill, But Supporters Continue to Donate in Support
Author: Ruth McCambridge

The well known artist and dissident was given 15 days to pay up.  So far more than 20,000 supporters have donated.

 Accused by the Chinese Government of avoiding $770,000 in taxes, the well-known dissident artist Ai Wei Wei was hit on Tuesday with a bill, including fines, of $2.4 million. Mr. Ai claims that the move is politically motivated—he is an open critic of China’s Communist party.  

 
He was given 15 days to pay the fine and a gag order as a condition of bail. Sincethat time, more than 20,000 people have come forward to help him pay it—so far contributing at least $550,000 in donations that vary in size and mode of delivery.
 
This story reports that after Ai’s Weibo account (which is the Chinese form of Twitter) was disabled, supporters began traveling to the compound where Ai is being held and throwing in money by folding the bills into paper airplanes. One donor offered the equivalent of $157,000 but was told by Ai that he would rather not accept it and that he preferred smaller donations. Crowdsourcing builds followings. 
 
Key Words: Ai Weiwei, human rights, dissident
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