« Update On Iranian Protests | Main | Weekend Caption Contest™ Winners (Week of 5/26/2006) »

17th Anniversary of Tiananmen Square Massacre

http://wizbangblog.com/images/2006/06/tianamen_square_1989-thumb.jpg

From BBC's On This Day:

Several hundred civilians have been shot dead by the Chinese army during a bloody military operation to crush a democratic uprising in Peking's (Beijing) Tiananmen Square.


Tanks rumbled through the capital's streets late on 3 June as the army moved into the square from several directions, randomly firing on unarmed protesters.

The injured were rushed to hospital on bicycle rickshaws by frantic residents shocked by the army's sudden and extreme response to the peaceful mass protest.

Demonstrators, mainly students, had occupied the square for seven weeks, refusing to move until their demands for democratic reform were met.

The military offensive came after several failed attempts to persuade the protesters to leave. Throughout Saturday the government warned it would do whatever it saw necessary to clamp down on what it described as "social chaos".

But even though violence was expected, the ferocity of the attack took many by surprise, bringing condemnation from around the world.

US President George Bush said he deeply deplored the use of force, and UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said she was "shocked and appalled by the shootings".

Amid the panic and confusion students could be heard shouting "fascists stop killing," and "down with the government".

At a nearby children's hospital operating theatres were filled with casualties with gunshot wounds, many of them local residents who were not taking part in the protests.

Early this morning at least 30 more were killed in two volleys of gunfire, which came without warning. Terrified crowds fled, leaving bodies in the road.

Meanwhile reports have emerged of troops searching the main Peking university campus for ringleaders, beating and killing those they suspect of co-ordinating the protests.

Be sure to watch the BBC report of the massacre.


Comments (10)

The Iranians have a similar... (Below threshold)

The Iranians have a similar problem on their hands right now. Somehow I think they'll be more brutal than the Chinese were.

I was in China for the summ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I was in China for the summer two years ago and spent the 15th Anniversary at Tiananmen Square. It was quite an eerie experience. I stayed there half the day, expecting to see some attempts at demonstration which would be stopped immediately, of course. But nothing happened at all. The place seemed to be half tourists, half police, both uniformed and plainclothes, eyeing everyone suspiciously. It was much quieter than other days I was there, as if everyone was waiting for something to happen, but it never really did (I heard later that a handful of people were arrested).

In the 17 years since the events in Tiananmen, China has become a different place. The desire for democracy among students has largely been replaced with the desire for wealth thanks to rapid economic expansion. Millionaires are heroes now, not dissidents.

The image of the young man ... (Below threshold)
just me:

The image of the young man standing in front of the tank is one I will always remember.

And sadly I agree that Iran would probably be far more brutal.

Hmmm.I think the n... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

I think the next generation, post-Tiananmen, has realised that before they can force democracy they'll need power. And the surest way to power in today's China is by wealth.

And it doesn't hurt that having wealth is a nice thing all by itself as well.

At least the Red Chinese di... (Below threshold)
docjim505:

At least the Red Chinese didn't put panties on anybody's head...

mantis:What an int... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

mantis:

What an interesting trip that must've been! Sounds eerie, fascinating and tad a frightening.

When you mention the police presence, both in and out of uniform, it brings to mind the superficial statements made by some people here in America who claim we're living in a police state. They just really have no real contemplation of what a police state is or what it's like to be under. Truly scary stuff.

One radio station here this morning called it the "incident" at Tiananmen Square. I guess "massacre" isn't in their vocabulary...

What an interesting trip... (Below threshold)
mantis:

What an interesting trip that must've been! Sounds eerie, fascinating and tad a frightening.

It was pretty interesting all around. Too bad I wasn't there long enough to boost my Mandarin to a fluent level. Tonal languages are a bitch.

When you mention the police presence, both in and out of uniform, it brings to mind the superficial statements made by some people here in America who claim we're living in a police state. They just really have no real contemplation of what a police state is or what it's like to be under. Truly scary stuff.

Indeed, when I hear nuts talk about our country being a police state or our goverment being authoritarian, it does make me laugh. While I believe that some of the surveillance of its citizens our government has performed over its history, and recently, can be steps in a more authoritarian direction, it has never come remotely close to countries like China, and our ship always rights itself eventually.

One radio station here this morning called it the "incident" at Tiananmen Square. I guess "massacre" isn't in their vocabulary...

It's tough to know what to call it, since the massacre was only one night that ended the demonstrations which had been going on for six weeks (though incident certainly doesn't cut it). I usually just refer to the "events at Tiananmen in '89" because they were much more than just the massacre. It was the culmination of years of student reform movements and the last time the Chinese people stood up to their government in any substantial way. While I agree with ed above that wealth will be the way to Democracy in China, I think it will be a very slow moving process. As the middle class grows the desire among the Chinese for representation and an end to corruption will lead to incremental changes which will eventually turn the government democratic, but this will take decades. Barring some unforseen calamity, there will be no large scale reform demonstrations like those in Tiananment '89; there will be no great revolution.

I think there is some hope for progress in Iran, as they already have a well-educated and moderate middle class, the essential ingredient to a functioning democracy. Too bad any help we try to give them (publicly) would only hurt the cause.

I usually just refer to ... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

I usually just refer to the "events at Tiananmen in '89" because they were much more than just the massacre.

That's a really good point. If we only remember the massacre at the end, we tend forget or not give enough credence to the inspiring days that lead up to massacre (a word that is wholly apropos as m-w.com defines it as "killing a number of usually helpless or unresisting human beings under circumstances of atrocity"). But the latter is just so much quibbling.

Barring some unforseen calamity, there will be no large scale reform demonstrations like those in Tiananment '89; there will be no great revolution.

As Gil Scott-Heron put it, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"

Well, if you are going to h... (Below threshold)

Well, if you are going to have a military response, there isn't much point in half assing it.

I remember Tienanmen happen... (Below threshold)
Jonathan Mclean:

I remember Tienanmen happening while earning my undergrad degree in Vermont, and hearing that the VHS tape was instrumentalin the uprising. The govt was unable to control its distribution.

Don't know how true this is, but sure makes sense.

Imagine now the impossibilities presented to the powers of old, of the power of information control we're exercising here and now, of this blog (my first ever).

"May you live in interesting times..." Is this truly a curse?




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy