Twenty Years ago Today: Tiananmen Square Massacre of peaceful protestors

55 posts / 0 new
Last post
Ghislaine
Twenty Years ago Today: Tiananmen Square Massacre of peaceful protestors

[url=http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/645408] Police pounce on 20th Tiananmen anniversary[/url]:

 

Quote:

BEIJING - At the south end of Tiananmen Square shortly after noon today, uniformed policemen grabbed a man brusquely by the arms and started dragging him off to a police cruiser.

"There must be some misunderstanding!" the man was yelling in Mandarin. "There's no misunderstanding," a policeman shouted back. "Get in the car!"

Suddenly about 20 men, who moments before had seemed like tourists, began converging on the scene. They were all packing walkie talkies: undercover policemen.

"But it's a misunderstanding," the man pleaded as more and more police closed in. "Can't we just talk here?"

"We're not talking about this in public," the uniformed cop shouted. "Get in the car!"

And with that the man was pushed into the backseat and the doors were slammed shut.

I looked at my watch: it was 10 minutes past noon.

With the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre today, Chinese authorities weren't taking any chances.

Uniformed and plain clothes police outnumbered tourists in Beijing's main square.

Twenty years ago on June 4, 1989, between 800 and 1,000 people died here, when the government ordered soldiers to turn their tanks and guns on their own people to put down a democracy protest by students and workers.

In the two decades that have passed, the event haunts the ruling Communist Party still. But there was no mention of it in any of China's official media today.

Checkpoints and x-ray machines were set up at all of the square's main entrances and police were instructed to turn away foreign journalists.

The Associated Press reported plain clothes police confronting foreign journalists on the streets surrounding the square and threatening violence against them.

 

 

 

Maysie Maysie's picture

Quote:

Toronto Association for Democracy in China and Federation for a Democratic China
...in cooperation with...
Marjorie Chan and UNITE-HERE Local 75
present

TIANANMEN+20
Madness in the Square

High Noon Bike- and Die-In

Thursday, June 4, 2009
12 noon at Nathan Phillips Square (Queen Subway)

Protest Chinese government's violent crackdown and massacre of students and workers in Beijing's Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989 and continued authoritarian rule in China!

With musicians and artists:

Amchok Gompo Dhondup, Sheng Xue, Spiritwind,
and an excerpt from Marjorie Chan's play, "The Madness of the Square"

Wear White - Bike-In - Die-In

Bike-in: Breakfast at Urbane Cyclist at 10:30 am
Group bicycle ride to Nathan Philips Square at 11:30 am.

For more information or to volunteer, e-mail [email protected]

 

Stockholm

I was just thinking about the fact that it was 20 years ago today that the Chinese government murdered several thousand students and workers. I'm surprised that there has been so little posted about this here.

Unionist

I believe the correct number of casualties was several million, Stockholm. Or billion, I forget which. Oh well, what difference does it make, bad guys are bad guys.

The reason there has been so little posted here is that we Leftists all fervently support the Chinese government. I believe I speak for all babblers when I say that. Now, find me one incident where an Israeli soldier insulted a Palestinian terrorist, and we'll open 50 threads to denounce the evil Israelis.

Happy? I thought so.

 

 

Stockholm

Just as i suspected.

Ghislaine

Maysie - thank you for that link (and for keeping it on topic).

Ze

It was a good commemoration -- nice work by Chinese community and labour council activists putting it together and a powerful re-enactment.

Ken Burch

The truth is, of course, that at the time, the left in the U.S. and throughout Western Europe(there wasn't a left that was free to be left in Eastern Europe at the time, since the Stalinist right was still in power there)supported the students and denounced the Chinese government(and did so while the administration of Bush the First essentially backed Deng's massacre) with the sole comic exceptions of Gus Hall's "Communist" Party and the Workers World cult.. 

There was never any reason for the Chinese government to use brute force on anyone that night.  The students had voluntarily left the square, the protests were over.  The government should have left it at that.  And there is still no excuse whatsoever for that government to insist, twenty years later, on refusing to allow public commemorations of the massacre or even to release the names of those killed in it.  The way for the Chinese government to make itself secure is to actually deal with the concerns of the people, not to force that people to keep silent in exchange for consumer goods(goods most Chinese are no longer able to afford now that the capitalist model introduced by Deng has collapsed).  Time for those Hundred Flowers to finally bloom.

And, before anyone jumps in, all of us on the left who condemn this massacre equally condemn every life capitalism ever took as well.   There was never any reason to question that assertion.

al-Qa'bong

Stockholm wrote:

I was just thinking about the fact that it was 20 years ago today that the Chinese government murdered several thousand students and workers. I'm surprised that there has been so little posted about this here.

 

So post something.

 

I'd like to know why whenever I want to buy something, from a toaster to a bicycle, everything I look at is made in China.  It would be nice to boycott Chinese products, but it seems as if everything comes from there.

howardbeale howardbeale's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

all of us on the left who condemn this massacre equally condemn every life capitalism ever took as well.   There was never any reason to question that assertion.

Yes, perfect. Beautiful.

Fidel

I agree with Ken. And we shouldnt forget 1980 and the thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators murdered by the US-backed military dictatorship in South Korea.

Ghislaine

al-Qa'bong wrote:

Stockholm wrote:

I was just thinking about the fact that it was 20 years ago today that the Chinese government murdered several thousand students and workers. I'm surprised that there has been so little posted about this here.

 

So post something.

 

I'd like to know why whenever I want to buy something, from a toaster to a bicycle, everything I look at is made in China.  It would be nice to boycott Chinese products, but it seems as if everything comes from there.

I agree. I tried this last year. Then I needed to buy a can opener - and unless you can find an old working one at a yard sale from 30 years ago it is made in CHina.

Ghislaine

Fidel wrote:

I agree with Ken. And we shouldnt forget 1980 and the thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators murdered by the US-backed military dictatorship in South Korea.

Well then start a thread on it. Geez - this is supposed to be a remembrance thread about a specific event - the one in the title. Maysie and Ze made comments about what sounds like a great (yet sad) event. Stockholm made a snarky comment and you veer into some other area.

What you are discussing can be googled and researched in S. Korea. The topic of this thread does not exist in China. Google it at google.cn. It was thrown down the memory hole. A lot of people my age in China don't even believe that the massacre even happened.

remind remind's picture

BS, I watched clips of the vigil last night in Hong Kong and there were thousands of young people there.

Ghislaine

remind wrote:

BS, I watched clips of the vigil last night in Hong Kong and there were thousands of young people there.

Um...are you not aware that Hong Kong is under a completely different legal framework? When given back to China at the end of the 20th century, a 50 year agreement was made where they would come some things - such as press freedom and the right to peaceful protest?

My point was that in the rest of China, Tiananmen Square massacre does not exist. It is not taught in schools. Witht he help of Western computer companies, you will not find it on google.cn. The only place in all of China that it is not in the memory hole is Hong Kong.

al-Qa'bong

remind wrote:

BS, I watched clips of the vigil last night in Hong Kong and there were thousands of young people there.

 

Yeah, and was Hong Kong part of Red China in 1989?  Lighten up, remind. At least learn a little about the subject before jumping on people.

 

I heard a radio journalist yesterday say how, while he was talking to young Chinese people and trying to raise the subject of the massacre, all he received were blank looks.

 

That's effective propaganda.

remind remind's picture

If the knowlege of it, is in Hong Kong it will spread out eventually, now they are part of greater China. If he received blank looks perhaps it was because of fear?

And you can shove your personal attacking comment Al'Q.

Ghislaine

remind, perhaps you are not getting the fact that one can face considerable penalty for even discussing the event, let alone protesting it anywhere in China except HKSAR.

Read my opening post link about plainclothes police officers harassing western journalists in Tiananmen square.

And, regarding personal attacking comments - you erroneously called my post "BS", which you have not apologized for.

RosaL

al-Qa'bong wrote:

That's effective propaganda.

 

Effective but not nearly as effective as what remind (and others) would doubtless call "ours". 

Ghislaine

How is [url=http://asiapacific.amnesty.org/pages/ec-110506-action-eng] this [/url] for effective:

 

Quote:

 

Microsoft's search engine MSN China filters the results of searches for politically sensitive terms, displaying a message in Chinese which states 'Certain content was removed from the results of this search'. Searches undertaken in June 2006 by AI produced this message for the words 'Falun Gong', 'Tibet Independence' and 'June 4' (the date of the Tiananmen Square massacre).

Furthermore, Microsoft has admitted that it responds to directions from the Chinese government by restricting users of MSN Spaces from using certain terms in their account name, space name, space sub-title or in photo captions. At the same time the company asserts that MSN Spaces do not filter blog content in any way. Amnesty International considers this claim to be at odds with the facts.

When Microsoft launched MSN Spaces in China in June 2005, attempts to create blogs with words including 'democracy', 'human rights' and 'freedom of expression' were blocked, producing the following error message (in Chinese): 'You must enter a title for your space. The title must not contain prohibited language, such as profanity. Please type a different title.' Tests by AI carried out in June 2006 demonstrated continued blocking of certain terms including 'Tiananmen incident' in the title of blogs.

As a result of such actions, Microsoft users in China are denied the ability to access the full range of information available internationally on human rights topics, including via websites and web pages of Amnesty International and other human rights organizations.

 

 

 

remind remind's picture

I am fully aware of all that ghislaine, and your comment was BS, Hong Kong is now part of China, and if they held vigils and are aware, more people across China will be too.

I am also aware of the harassment and restrictions, hence my comment if there were blank looks, it was perhaps because of fear.

Unionist

This is one of the most interesting and thoughtful articles I have read which tries to analyze the statistics of casualties and the question of whether or not any actual killing took place within the square as opposed to in the approaches:

[url=Revisiting">http://www.docstoc.com/docs/6774077/Revisiting-Tiananmen-Square---A-Dist... Tiananmen Square - A Distorted Image from Both Sides of the Lens[/url]

It's by Albert Chang, in the Stanford Journal of East Asian Affairs.

Ghislaine

remind wrote:

I am fully aware of all that ghislaine, and your comment was BS, Hong Kong is now part of China, and if they held vigils and are aware, more people across China will be too.

I am also aware of the harassment and restrictions, hence my comment if there were blank looks, it was perhaps because of fear.

Hong Kong is part of China, however it is under a special agreement for 50 years called "One country, two systems".

Quote:

 

Hong Kong (Chinese: ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region,[6] is a largely self-governing[7] territory of the People's Republic of China, facing Guangdong Province in the north and the South China Sea to the east, west and south. Hong Kong is a global metropolitan and international financial centre and has a highly developed capitalist economy.

Beginning as a trading port, Hong Kong became a crown colony (later dependent territory) of the United Kingdom in 1842, and remained so until its transfer of sovereignty to the People's Republic of China in 1997.[8][9] Under the "one country, two systems" policy,[10] Hong Kong enjoys high degree [11] of autonomy in all areas with the exception of foreign affairs and defence (which are the responsibility of the PRC government).[7] As part of this arrangement, Hong Kong continues to maintain its own currency, separate legal, political systems and other aspects that concern its way of life,[7] many of which are distinct from those of mainland China.[12][13][

 

[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_Kong] Source [/url]

 

I was referring to all areas of China, outside of Hong Kong, which has separate and very different laws. Pro-democracy protests regularly occur in HKSAR and do not result in any state-sanctioned murders.

 

So, it is not BS. HKSAR is a completely different can of worms.

remind remind's picture

Ghislaine you did not discriminate you  said "China" period.

Moreover, more and more mainland Chinese are moving to Hong Kong, to seek jobs etc, it may have rights that those on the mainland do not yet have, but information flow to other areas is happening and will continue.

Unionist

I thought Hong Kong was in Indonesia?

The wonderful thing about babble is that you can always predict that thread drift will happen, but you don't always know in what direction...

Ze

[url=http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/johnbon/2009/06/video-bike-and-die-comme... posts footage by John Bonnar of the Toronto ceremony here[/url]

I wish there was more of this sort of coalition-building on the left - a ceremony that opened with acknowledgement that it was taking place on the land of the Mississaugas, combined Chinese, Western and first nations art forms, and saw labour organizers join forces with groups in the Chinese-Canadian community in Toronto. And even invited bikes to be part of the event!

theboxman

Ghislaine wrote:

perhaps you are not getting the fact that one can face considerable penalty for even discussing the event, let alone protesting it anywhere in China except HKSAR.

 

Funny, last I checked, the Chinese intellectual Wang Hui (who was also a participant in the 1989 protests) is based in China still (Tsing Hua University) and discusses the subject in his writings plenty. Indeed, a key point he has consistently argued is that contrary to perception in Western media, the protests were not against socialism but against the structural reforms in the Chinese economy that began in the early 1980s, producing the wide swaths of unevenness in China's domestic economy today. In other words, it was a protest for democratic socialism, against state capitalism. In his words:

"The 1989 social movement originated out of a general protest against the unequal devolution of political and economic power, out of dissatisfaction of local and Beijing-based interest groups with the central government’s policies of readjustment, out of internal splits within the state, and out of the conflictual relations between the state apparatus and various social groups." (Wang Hui, China’s New Order [Cambridge: Harvard, 2006]: 63).

Cueball Cueball's picture

Ghislaine wrote:
What you are discussing can be googled and researched in S. Korea. The topic of this thread does not exist in China. Google it at google.cn. It was thrown down the memory hole. A lot of people my age in China don't even believe that the massacre even happened.

Quick! Name three other topics that have gone down the memory hole popular Western concepts?

What I find funny is the latent implication (and lets face it, this is a large part of what this is about) is that there is too much focus on Israel, in comparison to other countries. "Uh oh! The murky outline of anti-semetism lurks beneath the surface here, can you not see it!" What is most absurd about this line of arguement is that one is actually instrumetalizing China, so that one can talk about Israel, and one is not really talking about China at all.

But I can talk about numerous far more brutal massacres that never get comemorated on Rabble, some of them even more recent than Tianemen square event. For example the ethnic cleansing of Krajina in Croatia in 93 doesn't even rate a mention on this web site, when the day passes, nor the more recent massacres in East Timor, the repeated days of massacre of Chechyns in Grozny passes without even a whimper. All of these, even by the most kind accounts have higher body counts than the repression at Tianemen Square. What of Tibet and so on?

So why the double standard? Is there some lurking anti-Chinese sentiment at play here?

Well lets look at the history then. The fact is that "the west" has desperately been trying to control events in China for the last 100 years, and even the US involvement in World War Two begins in China with the Japanese invasion that begins in 1934, and turns into full blown war at the "Marco Polo Bride incident" of June 1937, and then the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941. Since then "we" have been backing one party or another in China in an effort to find political results that are positive to western interests. But the fact is that China is, and has always been, beyond our control. We may have been able to influence events, but never direct them, and even if our favourite Chinese ally, Chiang Kai Shek's KMT, were to have won out in the civil war, in all likelyhood the government would have been just as nationalist and anti-western as Mao's communists. Would Tibet have been on Chiang's radar scope after victory against the CPC? Of course, as was Manchuria and inner Mongolia, which he deftly plucked from the embrace of his erstwhile ally the Soviet Union, even as WWII was raging. There isn't anything even, that indicates that Chiang was any more liberal or less uncompromising against his opponents: he conducted brutal massacres of Communists and other opponents merely two years after he took over the KMT after the demise of Sun Yat Sen.

Talk about "memory holes", or is it selective MEMRI?

On the other hand even little Canada has been a player in the history of Israel, from day one, as the new leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, points out in his recent speech to the CJC:

Quote:
More than six decades ago, in 1947, my father was a Canadian diplomat on the UN Special Committee on Palestine-which recommended a partition plan accepted by Jews but rejected by the Arab world.

 Israel is both by cultural heritage and government policy directly a creation of European interests, and peopled mostly by European emigres. Most Israelis are bonded to us by blood, culture, history, and our own political design. It is, in a few words, our last great colonial project. Our colonial project in China failed, and since has always been beyond our control, we, as a people, have very little direct relationships to the Chinese, nor do we bare any political responsibility for its actions -- the case of Israel is entirely the opposite.

We created Israel. China created itself. Therefore our interest is not only natural, but entirely appropriate.

Ken Burch

 

Quote:
Israel is both by cultural heritage and government policy directly a creation of European interests, and peopled mostly by European emigres.

Actually, wrong.  While the political elite of Israel is still drawn from the Ashkenazi(Northern European)Jewish community, the majority of the population of Israel is actually Mizrahi(North African and Arab Jewish communities)and, of course Israeli Arabs.  The last two groups between them comprise probably 65% of the Israeli population and thus, were they ever to find common political ground, could probably form a revolutionary coalition that could take over that country and reshape it.

Ghislaine

Unionist wrote:

I thought Hong Kong was in Indonesia?

The wonderful thing about babble is that you can always predict that thread drift will happen, but you don't always know in what direction...

Hong Kong is pretty relevant to the thread topic...however now discussion seems to have moved onto Israel. I guess that makes sense, as there are no threads at all discussing Israel on babble.

RosaL

Ken Burch wrote:

Actually, wrong.  While the political elite of Israel is still drawn from the Ashkenazi(Northern European)Jewish community, the majority of the population of Israel is actually Mizrahi(North African and Arab Jewish communities)and, of course Israeli Arabs.  The last two groups between them comprise probably 65% of the Israeli population and thus, were they ever to find common political ground, could probably form a revolutionary coalition that could take over that country and reshape it.

 

It would add that it was the British and American ruling class that created Israel, rather than "we". (Are we complicit through our failure to overthrow "our" ruling class? All I can say is: some of us have been trying! But a like argument would make anyone who failed to overthrow their ruling class complicit in their own oppression.) Anyway, attempts to inject some sort of class consciousness tend to be futile Frown

 

Cueball Cueball's picture

Ghislaine wrote:

Unionist wrote:

I thought Hong Kong was in Indonesia?

The wonderful thing about babble is that you can always predict that thread drift will happen, but you don't always know in what direction...

Hong Kong is pretty relevant to the thread topic...however now discussion seems to have moved onto Israel. I guess that makes sense, as there are no threads at all discussing Israel on babble.

No actually it moved onto media constructs and "memory holes". You seem suprised that many people in China have no awareness of the Tianemen square event of 20 years ago, yet if you asked Americans about complicity of the US government and ethnic cleansing of Krajina province in Croatia, they would ask you where Krajina was. Probably the Kent State shootings would draw a blank too.

Ask Canadians about Canadian complicity in the massacre in Gaza less than 6 months ago, and you would might even invoke outrage. In fact, such outrage is a regular occurence on Rabble when the issue of complicity is brought up.

It's not as if there is not a history of debate on this web site, and each thread starts out Tabula Rasa.

As for the rest, I am pointing out that since there is no special Canadian relationship to the events of Tianemen square, except perhaps tangentally because we have a large number of people of Chinese heritage living here, it is really not suprising at all that public interest is low, whereas, in regards to other issues, we can in fact see a direct link which draws our attention to it. In all probability, Chinese people also look at Israeli issues more or less in the same light as we see Tianemen square: They read about massacres of Palestinians, are shocked momentarliy, and then move on.

If you asked most Americans "how many soldiers were killed in the Vietnam war?" they would almost certainly say "50,000". I really hope that the absurdity of that figure as a response to that question is not lost on you.

A_J

Ken Burch wrote:
. . . the administration of Bush the First essentially backed Deng's massacre . . .

The U.S. (and the EU) imposed an arms embargo on China immediately following the massacre and condemned the government's actions quite strongly.

al-Qa'bong wrote:
I'd like to know why whenever I want to buy something, from a toaster to a bicycle, everything I look at is made in China.  It would be nice to boycott Chinese products, but it seems as if everything comes from there.

What would that accomplish other than put Chinese workers out of a job?  The growing prosperity in China is helping to create some very small degree of freedom.

Fidel

[url=http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8635]Xiaoping Li wrote in 2008:[/url]

 

Quote:

There was no democracy on Tiananmen Square. Whoever controlled the loud speaker spoke on behalf of everyone. Factions of students fought to control the loud speaker. There were almost three to four attempted coups daily.

After the government made one after another concession to the students' demands, on May 27, 1989, a coalition of the student leaders and supporting workers and intellectuals agreed that the students would leave Tiananmen Square on May 30 so that they could, as student leader Wang Dang had long advocated, continue to pursue grassroots democracy on campuses.

But radical student leaders changed their minds and decided to stay on the Square. One of them was Commander-in-Chief Chai Ling. 

Chai Ling had confided to an American journalist: "what we are actually hoping for is bloodshed, for the moment when the government has no choice but to brazenly butcher the people... I can't say all this to my fellow students. I can't tell them straight out that we must use our blood and our lives to call on the people to rise up."

"Are you going to stay in the Square yourself?" asked the interviewer.

 

"No, I won't."

 

"Why?"

 

"... I want to live."

al-Qa'bong

RosaL wrote:

al-Qa'bong wrote:

That's effective propaganda.

 

Effective but not nearly as effective as what remind (and others) would doubtless call "ours". 

There's no denying that we're all exposed to it, in varying forms and to varying degrees.

 

I know an Italian-American with a history degree, who is an amateur historian of the Great War, but who hadn't heard of Sacco and Vanzetti when I mentioned them to him.

A few weeks ago I had to point out to a couple of engineering students that "The Final Solution" was probably not the best title for the conclusion of their respective project reports.

I've met people who didn't know that the Korean War and the Vietnam War were two separate events.

Nevertheless, I don't think we can say that the Chinese government hasn't been actively engaged in supressing information about Tiananmen Square.  There's a reason the internet in China has been heavily restricted these past few days.

Fidel

Ghislaine wrote:

Fidel wrote:

I agree with Ken. And we shouldnt forget 1980 and the thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators murdered by the US-backed military dictatorship in South Korea.

Well then start a thread on it. Geez - this is supposed to be a remembrance thread about a specific event - the one in the title. Maysie and Ze made comments about what sounds like a great (yet sad) event. Stockholm made a snarky comment and you veer into some other area.

What you are discussing can be googled and researched in S. Korea. The topic of this thread does not exist in China. Google it at google.cn. It was thrown down the memory hole. A lot of people my age in China don't even believe that the massacre even happened.

 

Well I'm sorry to have to inform you that there is censorship of the internet in freedom-loving South Korea. If you really want to discuss the requirements of democracy and freedom, we can oblige you.

 

And the US is basically a military dictatorship itself since [url=http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=12539]Bush's warrantless wiretaps of any communications in the USSA[/url] were endorsed by the Oabama administration. Spying at will on the lives of others in Amurrika.

 

 

 

theboxman

al-Qa'bong wrote:

Nevertheless, I don't think we can say that the Chinese government hasn't been actively engaged in supressing information about Tiananmen Square.  There's a reason the internet in China has been heavily restricted these past few days.

 

I don't think that's really in question, although one should consider that when a state engages in heavy-handed acts such as this, it's more often than not symptomatic of the failure of more diffuse modes of disseminating ideology and propoganda, precisely because we can then point to it and identify its operations. In this sense, I think the representation of the Chinese state as all-powerful, with the Chinese people as its mindless pawns  -- not that you asserted this, but it is an image that emerges out of much mainstream media discourse -- overstates its actual influence, and fails to account for not only its slippages, but also the agency of people with regard to their dealings with the state apparatus.

With this in mind, I have to wonder if the more critical question to ask here is what propoganda is working on us, not in general terms, but in its concrete manifestations as far as representations of China are concerned. Or to put it another way, what information are *we* prevented from seeing, what analyses are foreclosed by the presuppositions that we work from without examination?

Ken Burch

Fidel wrote:

[url=http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8635]Xiaoping Li wrote in 2008:[/url]

 

Quote:

 

But radical student leaders changed their minds and decided to stay on the Square. One of them was Commander-in-Chief Chai Ling. 

Chai Ling had confided to an American journalist: "what we are actually hoping for is bloodshed, for the moment when the government has no choice but to brazenly butcher the people... I can't say all this to my fellow students. I can't tell them straight out that we must use our blood and our lives to call on the people to rise up."

"Are you going to stay in the Square yourself?" asked the interviewer.

 

"No, I won't."

 

"Why?"

 

"... I want to live."

Other than the "not wanting to die himself" part, this guy sounds like the Padraig Pearse ot the Square.

Unionist

Ghislaine wrote:
The topic of this thread does not exist in China. Google it at google.cn. It was thrown down the memory hole. A lot of people my age in China don't even believe that the massacre even happened.

Ok, Ghislaine, I followed your suggestion, went to http://google.cn, entered "tienanmen", and to my surprise found [url=this">http://www.google.cn/search?hl=zh-CN&q=tienanmen&meta=&aq=9&oq=tienan][c... results page[/url], with the following as first in the list:

[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiananmen_Square_protests_of_1989][=re... Square protests of 1989 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/color][/url]

What happens when you try it?

 

Cueball Cueball's picture

I found a whole bunch of things there. Like this for example:

Ghislaine

Sorry, results are very different if you try it in China. It is called the "Great Firewall of China" and google and Microsoft are complicit.

Unionist

Ghislaine wrote:

Sorry, results are very different if you try it in China. It is called the "Great Firewall of China" and google and Microsoft are complicit.

Ah, ok, some friend in China told you that?

 

A_J

Interesting, because when you spell it as "Tiananmen Square" Wink you get this (and only this):

搜索结果可能涉及不符合相关法律法规和政策的内容,无法显示。

Quote:
Search results may not comply with the relevant laws, regulations and policy, can not be displayed.

Which must real suck for any loyal member of the Communist Party wanting to plan a trip to Beijing, since it wasn't even a search about the protest.

However, I believe the censorship goes beyond merely limiting search results and also includes extensive firewalls and IP blocking.

Fidel

So, were China's students protesting for or against something in June of 1989? We know what they were protesting against at Kwangju 1980. I think our western news media deliberately ad-lib and ignore the facts surrounding Tiananmen, which is somewhat Orwellian on their part.

Cueball Cueball's picture

I have an internet friend in Turkey where "Youtube" and other things have been banned on the internet, and they used all kinds of shadow IP's and secondary clients and so on to get around the ban. Don't know if the 'blocking" is better, but where there is a will there is a hack.

Wilf Day

al-Qa'bong wrote:
I heard a radio journalist yesterday say how, while he was talking to young Chinese people and trying to raise the subject of the massacre, all he received were blank looks.

Do you honestly think the people of China are so stupid?

Most people in China think of many things about us they are too polite to say to westerners, and think of many things among themselves they are too discreet to say to westerners.

They know a great deal more about China and its history, ancient and modern, than most westerners would be able to understand without a lifetime of study.

And they mostly don't care what we think about the "Central Kingdom." If we think people in our own centre-of-the-universe (Toronto) don't care about the opinions of "out-of-town" folks, multiply that by 554 (there are 554 Chinese for every Torontonian). I'm not saying that in any critical way whatever. What we think of China IS pretty irrelevant by any objective standard.

So why should they ask for trouble by attempting to venture an opinion in their third language (their two first languages being their local language plus Mandarin) on a very complex topic to a foreign news reporter who will certainly quote them out of context?

I'd look blank too.

Cueball Cueball's picture

My friend who came here in 1948, much to my suprise said precisely this, after the event: "That was terrible! Kids today, have no respect."

Wilf Day

A baleful legacy of 4 June 1989 is the habitual use of violence by local governments faced with difficult issues.

Quote:
there have been many subsequent "Tiananmens", large and small. Just as the party's culture of intolerance implanted itself into some of its student opponents in 1989, so official violence has to a degree generated a similar response from elements of the public. Yang Jia, who killed six Shanghai policemen, and Deng Yujiao, who killed a local-government official, received support and praise online. The inclination to meet violence with violence is growing. Tiananmen casts a long shadow.

Ze

Unionist wrote:

Ghislaine wrote:
The topic of this thread does not exist in China. Google it at google.cn. It was thrown down the memory hole. A lot of people my age in China don't even believe that the massacre even happened.

Ok, Ghislaine, I followed your suggestion, went to http://google.cn, entered "tienanmen", and to my surprise found [url=this">http://www.google.cn/search?hl=zh-CN&q=tienanmen&meta=&aq=9&oq=tienan][c... results page[/url], with the following as first in the list:

[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiananmen_Square_protests_of_1989][=re... Square protests of 1989 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/color][/url]

What happens when you try it?

The Wade-Giles spelling dodge works less well in China itself, of course.

It's true that many people in China are not well informed about the Tiananmen killings. But "disturbances of the public order" are up, civil society groups are more and more present, like the people who wanted to protest at the Olympics against rampant development and its effects on their local environment, and all the other unauthorized NGOs. 

Cueball Cueball's picture

Wilf Day wrote:

A baleful legacy of 4 June 1989 is the habitual use of violence by local governments faced with difficult issues.

Quote:
there have been many subsequent "Tiananmens", large and small. Just as the party's culture of intolerance implanted itself into some of its student opponents in 1989, so official violence has to a degree generated a similar response from elements of the public. Yang Jia, who killed six Shanghai policemen, and Deng Yujiao, who killed a local-government official, received support and praise online. The inclination to meet violence with violence is growing. Tiananmen casts a long shadow.

Interesting article. However, no government exists entirely seperate from "it's people", "the people" or however you want to put it.  Many reforming "intellectuals" promote the pretension that there can be this clearly defined devide, where one entity (the government) exists entirely seperate from the other (the people) without some kind of consent of latter that goes beyond simple coercion, police sureveliance and state violence, used by the former.

At some point the state must be seen to act in the interests of "the people", or it will become intollerable not only to the people, but even to those people that the state relies on to enforce the social order, the police, and the rest of the state security aparatus, such as the army. As we saw in the Soviet Union, failure of authority, due to the apparent illigitimacy of the state, even in the eyes of the police and army, made it impossible for the state to repress the revolt that led to the fall of the Communist party.

I have seen nothing yet that indicates to me that the present social order in China is near to a state of collapse, despite the wishful thinking of western inspired "democrats". By couching his analysis, in the terms of "the state" v "the people" the writer poses the issues as if China is on the verge of a repressed general revolt that is bubbling near the surface.

From what I can see, I don't think China has passed into that phase where critical mass of dissent is so great that it can not govern, because there is a consensus among "the people" that "the state" is illigitimate, and "people" and "state" are seperated from each other and in clear opposition.

It may come to that but there has been enough progress in numerous areas, particularly in the introduction of a capitalist model that has inspired the growth of a wealthy business class, and increased availability of consumer goods, as well as greater international prestige and power, and indeed limited "freedoms" that the oligarchy has bought itself more time, and may continue to do so, as long as it remains relatively useful as a tool for satisfying the needs of the people. 

Fidel

I think if China and the former USSR have anything in common, it's that the people wanted socialism democratizing. Yeltsin and insiders on the reforms were careful not to implement democracy in Russia and destroyed the Soviets, the very institutions that might have made democratization possible. 

The students at Tiananmen werent protesting in favour of western style capitalism. Many were protesting the very undemocratic neoliberal reforms toward capitalism. In Russia, the people werent given a choice either - it was a top-down revolution toward state capitalism, and "gangster" capitalism. The CPC have made some efforts to avoid similar gangsterization of the economy.

And here in the west, we're basically being ruled by gangsters for a long time. Wall Street has taken over powers of resource allocation, and Bay Street still key to our bought and paid for stoogeocracies in Ottawa and resource-rich provinces.

Pages