Site Where I Signed Petition for Ai Weiwei’s Release Hacked

by Silvia Duarte    /  April 22, 2011  / 1 Comment



Hackers have attacked Change.org, the site hosting a petition in support of detained Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. The website assures that the cyber attacks are coming from China.

World renowned Artist Ai Weiwei was schedule to come to the Warhol Museum this May and Sampsonia Way interviewed Eric Shiner about the artist’s work.

At the end of that interview which we published on Wednesday, we included a link to sign a petition for Ai Weiwei release in the Change.org website.

I personally signed the petition one week ago, and this is the email that the Change.org sent to me and other signers today:

The petition demanding the release of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has nearly 100,000 signatures.

Here’s how we know it’s really gotten Beijing’s attention: For the past four days, the Change.org website has been repeatedly targeted by cyber attacks coming from China that aim to bring our site down, which would keep people from signing the petition.
Our engineers are working around the clock to fend off the attacks and, for now, the petition is still up.

We need to let the Chinese government know that illegal tactics from within its borders won’t stop the mounting pressure on them to release Weiwei.
The campaign has helped to give rise to an international outcry. Political leaders around the world are calling for Weiwei’s release and activists have organized peaceful protests at Chinese embassies and consulates.

Though China is desperate to silence its critics, the pressure to free Weiwei continues to grow. You can help asking five friends to sign the petition:

http://www.change.org/petitions/call-for-the-release-of-ai-weiwei

Autocratic governments know that the internet is a democratizing force, and they’ll do everything they can to suppress online activism. Know that we stand with you for change, and that we will continue to fight to make sure your voice can be heard.

To Recapitulate

Acclaimed dissident artist Ai Weiwei — who helped design the famed “Bird’s Nest” stadium for China’s Olympics — was arrested on April 3rd by Chinese security forces at the Beijing airport. His office and studio have been ransacked, and no one has heard from him since.

The international art community banded together, demanding his release — and the directors of more than twenty leading museums (including the Tate Modern, Museum of Modern Art, and the Guggenheim) started a petition on Change.org that has garnered worldwide attention, including in the New York Times, LA Times, and Guardian.

About the Author

Silvia Duarte is the managing editor of Sampsonia Way. She received her degree in Communication Sciences from Rafael Landivar University in Guatemala and her masters in Latin American studies from the Autonomous University of Madrid in Spain. Duarte was editor of El Periódico de Guatemala’s Sunday magazine from 2001 to 2006 and has written scholarly and journalistic articles in Germany, Spain, and the United States. She came to Pittsburgh in 2007 with her partner writer-in-exile Horacio Castellanos.

View all articles by Silvia Duarte

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