Sun Di arrived in Beijing with a dream. In May, the 28-year-old moved to Zhouying village, a swath of low-budget apartment blocks on the city’s outskirts. He found a menial job at a pharmaceuticals company but aspired to start his own business.
Then came the evictions.
On Nov. 18, a fire tore through a cramped, low-budget Beijing apartment building — one much like Sun’s — killing 19 people. Authorities responded by launching Beijing’s biggest eviction drive in at least a decade. Sun has found himself caught in its grip, suddenly displaced along with tens of thousands of other migrant workers from less-developed cities and towns. Officials have given little or no notice, leaving many people homeless in the freezing cold.
This week, as social media sites have overflowed with pictures and videos of the evictions — migrant workers desperately packing up their belongings, sleeping on curbs, dragging suitcases down streets littered with trash …