“I am not for a kind of Olympics that forces the migrants out of the city, to tell the ordinary citizens they should not participate.”

In 2008, Ai Weiwei famously collaborated on the construction of the Bird's Nest Stadium for the 2008 Beijing Olympics with Herzog and de Meuron.

While this was a huge moment in his career as both an artist and architect, he did not withhold his opinion of China's unfair displacement of Beijing's migrants, as he shared with The Guardian on August 9, 2007. He denounced the Stadium and the Beijing Olympics as political propaganda, saying, "I very openly criticise the tendency to use culture for the purpose of propaganda, to dismiss the true function of art and the intellect."

On July 26, 2012, he wrote an article in The Guardian about China's exclusion of its people in the Olympics, expressing hope that the London games will be different.