Sunday, June 04, 2006

Chinese Pro-Democracy Demonstrators Stage Symbolic Protest At Tiananmen Square, Beijing Site Of 1989 Massacre; Larger Protests Held In Hong Kong

BEIJING (AP) -- "Chinese police tore up a protester's poster and detained at least two people on Beijing's Tiananmen Square on Sunday as the country marked 17 years since local troops crushed a pro-democracy demonstration in the public space.

An elderly woman tried to pull out a poster with apparently political material written on it, but police ripped it up and then took her away in a van.

A farmer tried to stage a protest apparently unrelated to the 1989 crackdown, but he also was taken away in a van.

After dawn, a group of tourists tried to open a banner while posing for a photo, catching the attention of police, who quickly forced them to put the nonpolitical material away. They were not detained.

Discussion of the crackdown is still taboo in China outside of the semiautonomous regions of Hong Kong and Macau. Chinese television news and major newspapers did not mention the anniversary.

In Hong Kong, several hundred [thousand] people holding candles gathered at Victoria Park, creating a sea of lights covering four soccer fields.

''I hope the Chinese government will recognize this dark history,'' Eric Lau, 14, said." ...

Associated Press "China Marks Tiananmen Square Anniversary" New York Times June 4, 2006.

Hong Kong, China, Victoria Park Pro-Democracy Demonstration, 2006

Photo credit: Bobby Yip and Reuters. With thanks.


Blogger bobby fletcher 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:

"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:

"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.]

5:39 PM  

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