Wang Jianfen spent her life savings on buying her home in Wuxi city in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu, and was devastated when it was slated for demolition to make way for a major highway and associated developments in 2009. Her attempts to petition the authorities for compensation have proved futile, and she is now living near her badly damaged former home, along with her son.
I can't live there anymore. The walls are like bean curd. They used a large excavator to make it like this, and I can't live in it anymore. I roam around outside with my son. We are homeless. I used to have the support of some of my neighbors, but after a while, they couldn't keep it up any more. I am the only one left. The others have all been scared off, and they have all signed the deal and moved out. They were all forced to sign a blank contract, coerced into it.
They have broken a whole range of laws and brought me a whole range of misery, so I have to seek legal redress. But the judicial system isn't just nowadays, or independent, and it doesn't work for the people. I have filed six or seven administrative appeals, but they just ignore me.
It has been four years now. I have lost my job. I haven't a penny to live on, and I have to beg for food on the streets, or ask friends and relatives to lend me money to get by. My son can't give me much support. I just have to put up with this bitter existence in silence.
If I were to give up, all my property, all that I have suffered, would be for nothing. I have had too much hardship. How can I give up willingly? If I had to live it over again, I would still take the path I have chosen. I will not surrender easily. I will keep trying on and on.
Reported by Wen Yuqing for RFA's Cantonese service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie.