We will always remember June 4, 1989
The events that occurred at Beijing's Tiananmen Square on June 3-4, 1989 will always be remembered by most of the world and the citizens in China who are able to find out the truth despite the web and newspaper censors, and government propaganda. The "tank man," the lone, unknown man who stopped a column of army tanks shall never be forgotten. It is pretty much one of the most recognizable images and is something that I can remember back when I was a 12-year old when I saw the events unfold on CNN.
On the 20th anniversary of the brutal suppression of protestors and citizens in and around Tiananmen Square, the Communist Government of China continues to recognize this event by blocking Twitter, Flickr, MySpace, Facebook, YouTube (already blocked well before), and many other social media and blog sites; bar foreign reporters and Chinese activists from the square; and confined dissidents to their homes or forced them to leave the capital city.
The Chinese government has never allowed an independent investigation into the military's crushing of the 1989 protests. It will be many years before a more moderate and reformed leadership will allow this to happen.
On June 2nd, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H. Res. 489, a resolution recognizing the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, expressing sympathy to the families of those killed, tortured, and imprisoned in connection with the protests, and calling for the Chinese government to conduct a fair investigation and to release those imprisoned for participating in the 1989 demonstrations. Of course, this is a non-binding resolution, but expresses the sense of the Congress.
In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a statement Wednesday that China, as an emerging global power, "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."
In a statement marking the anniversary, Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou urged China to lift the taboo on discussing the crackdown.
"This painful chapter in history must be faced. Pretending it never happened is not an option," Ma said in a statement issued Thursday.
On June 4th in China, the only place that will publicly acknowledge the event will be in Victoria Park, Hong Kong, where organizers expect a record turnout. There will be rememberance events held around Washington D.C. In London, there will be a vigil held outside of the Chinese Embassy.
Here's a CNN video - first clip shows reporter being harassed by plainclothes policemen using umbrellas to block their camera shot. second clip is web pages being blocked in various Chinese Internet cafes, including a shot of CNN being blacked out when there is mention of Tiananmen Square.
New York Times reported swarms of police agents and plainclothes men covering Tiananmen Square.
Some Internet users tried to evade government censors by referring to June 4 as May 35 on electronic bulletin boards. Others wore white shirts, the Chinese traditional color of mourning, as a silent form of protest.
Associated Press - China bars reporters from Tiananmen; blocks blogs
CNN - Tiananmen Square a watershed story
Mail Online - Twenty Years after Tiananmen Square, blood is still on the hands of China's leaders
Family Security Matters - Chinese People are Human Beings Too
National Post - Tiananmen anniversary: China's democracy deferred
New York Times - Behind the Scenes: Tank Man of Tiananmen
PBS Frontline - The Tank Man
Forbes - China's Iron Grip on History
Wikipedia - Tiananmen Square protests of 1989
Time - Guarding History
China Digital Times - China Hard-Liners Send Troops to Beijing; Zhao Ziyang May be Out (Historical)
BBC News - Timeline: The Tiananmen protests
Guardian UK - Chinese websites mark Tiananmen Square anniversary with veiled protest
Washington Times - U.S. lashes Beijing on Tiananmen anniversary