Friday, June 02, 2006

Let us not forget Tiananmen

On June 3rd, 1989 the Chinese government used the might of their army to violently crush a student led, but popularly backed, uprising. Centered in Tiananmen, the call for reform had spread throughout the country.

Since that time the government of China has mixed economic reform with hardline political oppression...a combination that has seemed to make the west forget the violence they brought upon their own citizens.

Is capitalism, even under political oppression, really the path to eventual freedom in China? I don't have the answers but I urge you to take some time and watch "The Tank Man", a Frontline program available online and remeber those, if only for a short time, had their goddess of democracy and hope that they, through non-violent means, could help their country to achieve a more open and free society.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tankman/

5 Comments:

Blogger Miss Mary said...

i don't have a comment on this post,

just wanted to say HI!

give stacey , chemo, & the kitties a hug for me:-)

oh and we used the treats chemo gave sienna to teach her to roll over, you should see my 80 pound puppy trying to roll over, cracks us up every time!

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to offer couple more references in addition to PBS Frontline's "The Tank Man", where it reported the fact students were allowed to leave peacefully once the troops arrived, and Chinese government did investigate this, and release casualty figure of 240 some dead (incidentally in-line with our own NSA intel estimate.)

An article by Gregory Clark on pack journalism:

http://mparent7777.livejournal.com/7702519.html

"the so-called massacre was in fact a mini civil war as irate Beijing citizens sought to stop initially unarmed soldiers sent to remove students who had been demonstrating freely in the square for weeks. When the soldiers finally reached the square there was no massacre."

An article by Columbia Journal Review on passive journalism:

http://archives.cjr.org/year/98/5/tiananmen.asp

"as far as can be determined from the available evidence, no one died that night in Tiananmen Square.
...
Hundreds of people, most of them workers and passersby, did die that night, but in a different place and under different circumstances."

[Just for reference, throwing molotov cocktail at riot police is a crime in US.]

5:36 PM  
Blogger Little_Jewford said...

yes, the story (thought not the "tank man piece") has too often focused on the square itself and the students. Because Tiananmen is familiar to most I used it in the title of my piece. Basically, no matter how many died, no matter what their social role was, the fact remains that the Chinese government at that moment showed its true oppressive nature.

7:19 PM  
Blogger Little_Jewford said...

yes, the story (thought not the "tank man piece") has too often focused on the square itself and the students. Because Tiananmen is familiar to most I used it in the title of my piece. Basically, no matter how many died, no matter what their social role was, the fact remains that the Chinese government at that moment showed its true oppressive nature.

7:21 PM  
Blogger Little_Jewford said...

Oh, and from the CJR article you site:

"but it has allowed the bloody-minded regime responsible for the June 4 murders to divert attention from what happened. There was a massacre that morning."

7:22 PM  

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