Remembering dead real republic Red

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by hit&run, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

    May 29, 2009
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    View attachment 523
    Crushing republic public
    Fight for democracy: In this file picture, Chinese citizens and students of Chengdu hurl stones at troop on June 4, 1989 during a rioting following the proclamation of the martial in the city. A series of pro-democracy protests was sparked by the April 15 death of former communist party leader Hu Yaobang. In a show of force, China leaders vented their fury and frustration on student dissidents and their pro-democracy supporters. Several hundred people were killed and thousands wounded when soldiers moved on Tiananmen Square during a violent military crackdown ending six weeks of student demonstrations, known as the Beijing Spring movement. The world will mark the twentieth anniversary of China's bloody crackdown on the pro-democracy protests on

    View attachment 524
    Cannon vs country
    Burning within: In this file photo taken on June 4, 1989, an armoured personnel carrier in flames as students set it on fire near Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Thousands of protesters were killed by China's military on June 3 and 4, 1989, as communist leaders ordered an end to six weeks of unprecedented democracy protests in the heart of the

    View attachment 525
    Real republic square up
    'Demo'cracy: In this file photo, students and people of Beijing gather at the Tiananmen Square on May 30, 1989, around a replica of New York's Statue of Liberty to promote the pro-democracy protest against the Chinese government.
  3. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

    May 29, 2009
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    View attachment 526
    might vs memories

    Global support: A woman wears a headband as she attends a Tiananmen Square protest outside the Chinese consulate in Sydney

    View attachment 527
    T&T TNT

    Words speak volumes: Tibetans in exile hold a banner during a candlelit vigil on the eve of the Tiananmen Square massacre anniversary, Dharmsala, India.

    View attachment 528
    Hope still enlightening

    Youth remembers: Students from the University of Hong Kong hold a candlelight vigil next to the Pillar of Shame - a statue to mark the Beijing Tiananmen crackdown, in Hong Kong
  4. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

    Mar 28, 2009
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    Hong Kong Tiananmen Vigil Is Enormous and Somber

    Published: June 4, 2009

    HONG KONG — Throngs of men, women and children gathered at a park here on Thursday evening for an enormous, somber candlelight vigil to mark the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square killings.

    The organizers said that 150,000 people joined the vigil, tying the record set by the first anniversary vigil in 1990 and dwarfing every vigil held since then. The police estimated the crowd at 62,800, their largest estimate for any vigil except in 1990, which they put at 80,000.

    The peaceful assemblage spilled out into nearby streets, shutting down traffic. Inside Victoria Park, thousands listened to songs and speakers who recounted the events on the night of the crackdown. A half-hour into the vigil, the lights in the park were extinguished and the attendees lit a forest of white candles in inverted conical paper shields.

    Even before the vigil began at 8 p.m., the tens of thousands of people assembled represented the largest crowd for the annual event here in recent years. The only crowd since the early 1990s that came remotely close was in 2004, when the fifteenth anniversary of the military crackdown coincided with a surge in pro-democracy sentiment in Hong Kong.

    Around the park on Thursday, numerous banners in Chinese demanded the vindication of the students and other Beijing residents who perished during the Chinese government crackdown against the protesters. There were people of all ages, from grey-haired retirees to young children whose parents accompanied them to explain why they felt so deeply about an event that took place before they were born.

    Yvonne Chow, a middle-aged social worker, said that she had come to the vigil every year for two decades and was heartened to see the turnout on Thursday night.

    “I am very happy that people have not forgotten the massacre in Tiananmen on June 4,” she said. “I am very sad because it destroyed our hopes for democracy.”

    Brian Cha, a 35-year-old interior designer, said that while the twentieth anniversary was an important one, he also came because he was angered by recent comments by Donald Tsang, Hong Kong’s chief executive, who suggested that critics of the crackdown should also take into account China’s many successes since 1989.

    Carrie Ho, a 35-year-old marketer, said that she came to the annual vigil for only the second time partly because of the Hong Kong government’s decision to bar some activists from entering the territory in recent weeks. The government’s action undermined freedom in the territory, she said.

    In 2004, organizers estimated the crowd at 82,000, though police then gave a lower estimate of 48,000. That had been the largest vigil since 1991, when 100,000 attended.

    Hong Kong, returned by Britain to Chinese rule in 1997, is still semi-autonomous and retains many individual liberties. It is the only place in China where large public gatherings are allowed to mark the anniversaries of the 1989 killings.

    Heavy rainstorms dumped 1.45 inches of rain on Hong Kong early Thursday morning, but the streets dried and the skies cleared through the day. The crowds gathered under cloudless skies and a nearly full moon that rose past the skyscrapers to shine down among the park’s palm trees.

    Gary Leung, a 42-year-old interior designer, came with his two daughters, aged 8 and 4.

    “I want to see Tiananmen vindicated,” he said. “I feel very old — I hope the apology will come before I die, and if not, my children will continue the struggle.”

    When a large crowd showed up in 2004, it was after public pressure had forced the government to retreat from plans to impose stringent internal security legislation sought by Beijing. The local government has not sought since then to reintroduce the legislation.

    The push for democracy has lost some of its impetus in Hong Kong over the past five years, as the economy has improved and as Mr. Tsang, who is more politically adept, has taken office.

    The success of Hong Kong residents in halting the internal security legislation in 2004, however, had an indirect affect on allowing the vigil here to grow to the huge size it was this year.

    “Prisoner of the State,” the secret journal of Zhao Ziyang, the general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party in the two years leading up to the Tiananmen Square crackdown, has just been published here and has immediately sold out. Mr. Zhao’s posthumous revelations about discord at the top of the Communist Party on how to respond to the student protests — he opposed the crackdown — have revived discussion of the events 20 years ago and Chinese-language copies of the book from Hong Kong are said to have been smuggled to the mainland.

    In an addition to the usual schedule of the vigil, the organizers played an excerpt from a recording that Mr. Zhao made of his journal. Mr. Zhao defended the students in Tiananmen Square, saying that they wanted the Chinese Communist Party to correct its wrongs but did not seek to overthrow it.

    Bao Pu, one of the three translators and editors of the book, said in a lunch speech at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club here on Thursday that it would have been much harder to publish the book here if the internal security legislation had been approved. He attributed the government’s retreat to a huge march here on July 1, 2003, with a crowd that police put at 350,000 and organizers at up to 700,000.

    “Those people who were on the streets that day made a contribution,” Mr. Bao said.
  5. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

    Mar 28, 2009
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    China security tight in Tiananmen

    China security tight in Tiananmen

    By Ben Blanchard

    BEIJING (Reuters) - China smothered Tiananmen Square with police on Thursday to prevent commemoration of the crackdown on pro-democracy protesters 20 years ago, as Washington demanded Beijing account for those killed.

    Tanks rolled into the square before dawn on June 4, 1989, to crush weeks of student and worker protests. The ruling Communist Party has never released a death toll and fears any public marking of the crackdown could undermine its hold on power.

    China has changed dramatically in the past two decades. Market reforms have lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty and transformed China into the world's third-largest economy, making similar protests on the same scale highly unlikely today.

    But wary of any sign of political dissent, Beijing has tried hard to erase any mention of the Tiananmen protests.

    In a sign of Beijing's mix of confidence and caution, Tiananmen Square was open to visitors on Thursday, with hundreds of police and guards present. On the 10th anniversary of the crackdown in 1999, it was closed to the public.

    Chinese crowded the square to watch the dawn flag-raising ceremony that is now a fixture of official patriotic ritual. Many were visitors from outside Beijing and appeared oblivious to the sensitive date. There were no gestures of protest.

    But some people came quietly to the square to mourn.

    "Today is June 4, so we came here to commemorate it," said a man surnamed Wang.

    Thousands in China-ruled Hong Kong attended a candlelight vigil on Thursday night to mark the anniversary.

    By the start of the vigil, organizers said tens of thousands had already gathered, filling an area the size of six football pitches, with a target of 100,000 seen as possible.

    "In 20 years, the knot of June 4 has not been untied," said Reverend Chu Yiu-ming, one of the organizers.


    The 1989 killings strained ties between Washington and Beijing and the reverberations were evident on the eve of the anniversary.

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on China to release all those still imprisoned in connection with the protests, to stop harassing those who took part and to begin a dialogue with the victims' families.

    "A China that has made enormous progress economically and is emerging to take its rightful place in global leadership should examine openly the darker events of its past and provide a public accounting of those killed, detained or missing, both to learn and to heal," Clinton said in a statement.

    China denounced the comments as "crude meddling".

    "We express our strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang.

    Clinton's demands reflect views Washington has long held but represent a tougher stance on China's human rights record than Clinton has taken in her first four months in the job.

    Clinton's call was echoed by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, a Mandarin-speaking former diplomat once posted in Beijing.

    "All people around the world were affected by those events and they still have resonance today," Rudd said.

    Authorities blocked access to the social messaging site Twitter , online photo sharing service Flickr , as well as briefly to email provider Hotmail. Foreign newscasts about the anniversary have been cut.

    "The leaders would rather just avoid this topic," said Zhang Boshu, a philosopher in Beijing who has urged a public reckoning with the killings. "They know that the 1989 crackdown, shooting their own citizens, was a terrible blow to their legitimacy."

    Foreign reporters were barred from the Beijing courtyard home of late reformist leader Zhao Ziyang, in a quiet alley crawling with plainclothes police and security volunteers who sat on stools sipping tea. Security officials also tightly controlled access to Beijing universities.

    Dissidents have been detained or harassed, including Zeng Jinyan, wife of detained AIDS activist Hu Jia, prompting anger from rights groups.

    Some Chinese activists and intellectuals recently urged the government to repent for the killings and start on a course of political liberalization. But China's leaders have shown no appetite for such steps, often saying that top-down political control is needed to guard economic growth.

    The president of Taiwan, a self-ruled island claimed by China, told Beijing to face up to the truth.

    "This painful period of history must be faced with courage and cannot be intentionally ducked," President Ma Ying-jeou said in a statement.

    While mention of the crackdown is taboo in Chinese media, dissidents have again been trying to get the government to reassess its official verdict on the incident, which is that it was a counter-revolutionary plot.

    This year's anniversary comes as the economy is slowing on the back of the global financial crisis. The government has reacted quickly, unveiling a 4 trillion yuan ($585.8 billion) stimulus package and other measures to tackle rising joblessness.

    "I don't think students would go to the streets to demonstrate against the Chinese government in the same way as the students of the 1980s," said Bo Zhiyue, a Chinese politics expert at Singapore's East Asian Institute.

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