Jiang Tianyong tweets about Chen Guangcheng

Since the US media broke the story about Chen Guangcheng leaving the New York University, the online Chinese communities have been relatively quiet about the news. This started to change yesterday after the Chinese version of a Wall Street Journal report had appeared. The report contained a statement by a former adviser of Chen named Mattie J. Bekink. Bekink backed several claims of the New York University with regard to the blind activist’s departure from the University. The defamatory accusations in the statement led to an uproar among online dissident communities and had resulted in a deluge of posts on Twitter in support of Chen. The most significant of these online comments came from Jiang Tianyong, a China-based legal expert who has been in regular contacts with Chen. The following is a full translation of a set of 14 tweets that Jiang posted on 20 June 2013.


A translation of China-based lawyer Jiang Tianyong’s tweets – re: Chen Guangcheng vs the New York University


The case of CGC vs NYU:  We regard all those who care about human rights, rule of law, democracy and liberty in China as our friends. Chen Guangcheng (CGC) assures us that he will insist on speaking conscientiously and truthfully to promote human rights, rule of law, liberty and democracy, regardless of how politicians from major US political parties and the Communist Party of China (CPC) choose to express their opinions on this matter with regard to his relations with the New York University (NYU).


Let us examine the facts. It is a fact that CGC’s one-year visiting scholar’s appointment at the NYU has come to an end. It is also a fact that the NYU, in expectation of benefits from its engagement with China, has succumbed to pressure from the CPC and has asked CGC to (immediately) leave the University. Another very important fact is that Professor Cohen had more than once reassured CGC that the appointment would be renewed for another year at the end of its current term.

关于光诚与纽约大学(三)Mattie J. Bekink在《华尔街日报》的声明中说的纽约大学对光诚一家的关照都是事实;但说“在即将离开纽约大学的时候,陈光诚选择用虚假陈述中伤他在这所大学的朋友和支持者”不是事实!

Mattie J. Bekink correctly pointed out at her statement published in the Wall Street Journal that the NYU had taken very good care of CGC & his family. But there is no factual substance to her claim “that as his time at NYU comes to a close Mr. Chen chooses to malign his friends and supporters at the university with false statements.” None whatsoever!


The fact is, after CGC’s arrival at the NYU, the CPC did not sever ties with the NYU. Instead, it stepped up networking with the NYU, particularly towards the past six months. The carrot and stick approach towards the NYU had proven to be effective in preventing Professor Cohen from securing another term of appointment for CGC. After all, Professor Cohen is a loyal Democrat supporter.

关于光诚和纽约大学(五)压力除了来自中共、民主党、纽约大学,也来自科恩教授的身边,包括Mattie J. Bekink。科恩教授让光诚延期一年的努力失败。但纽约大学希望光诚不将学校受压屈从一事公开。

The pressure on Professor Cohen came not just from the CPC, the Democratic Party and the NYU, but also from people around Professor Cohen, including Mattie J. Bekink. Professor Cohen eventually failed in his effort to secure another year’s appointment for CGC. And the NYU also wanted CGC not to reveal in public that the University had been under pressure.


CGC is mostly grateful for the help he and his family have received from the NYU and from Professor Cohen. However, CGC is also a very honest man with integrity. It is not possible for him to turn a blind eye to the dishonorable tricks of the CPC and to pretend that evil does not exist. He is also not in a position to shield the NYU against public scrutiny.


Professor Cohen has been a dear friend of CGC for the last 10 years. To CGC, Professor Cohen is both a friend and a mentor. But CGC will not lie or be silenced, not even for the person whom he truly respects. What was even more perplexing for CGC was that the NYU took offense at accusations meant to be directed only towards the CPC and its unruly behavior. Consequently, Professor Cohen was made to step forward to deny that the University had been put under pressure.


This incident is further complicated by the politics the two major US political parties are playing against each other. Suddenly those from the Democrats to the Republicans, from liberals to conservatives, are all expressing their opinion on this matter and are promoting their views based on each other’s interpretation of events. Most significantly, Professor Cohen became the first person to accuse CGC of allying himself with conservative Republicans. The accusation adds another dimension of complexity to this incident.


As a matter of fact, since CGC’s arrival at the NYU, he has been put under strict protection; not everyone can gain access to him. CGC has only had brief meetings with conservative members from the Republican Party and with Bob Fu from a human rights religious organization called ChinaAid. Even senior US congressmen such as Frank Wolf and Chris Smith have experienced some difficulties when they requested to meet with CGC.


Meanwhile, CGC is spending most of his time with Professor Cohen, people at the NYU and members of the liberal Democratic Party. So it is absurd to suggest that CGC is under the influence of conservative Republicans.  To say so is to admit that the liberal Democrats are not influential!


Bekink says, “But his comments suggest that he is having a hard time accepting the reality of his new life. It is not the Chinese communist authorities who “want to make [him] so busy trying to earn a living that [he doesn’t] have time for human rights advocacy.” Rather it is life in capitalist America that requires individuals to support themselves.” These defamatory comments betray the fact that she does not understand CGC and she is too eager to come to the CPC’s defense.


I have recently been in regular contact with CGC. He assures me that he will continue to speak conscientiously and truthfully to promote human rights, rule of law, liberty and democracy. CGC is such an honest and sincere person that he will not hesitate to point out there is “an elephant in the room”. His honesty may have upset many people, including Professor Cohen and the NYU.

光诚与纽约大学(十三) 光诚一直希望美国两党超脱党派之争,共同面对中共当局的压力,支持中国人权、法治、自由和民主;但实际上确实非常困难。此次争论中,光诚也希望美国各方面的朋友直面中共当局的压力,而不将矛盾指向科恩教授。

It has long been CGC’s wish that the two major parties in the USA could come to a bipartisan agreement of the need to face up to pressure from the CPC in their supports for human rights, rule of law, liberty and democracy in China. This is obviously not an easy task. In this dispute, CGC also hopes his American friends can face up to pressure from the CPC. Instead, Professor Cohen was put under tremendous pressure to resolve the disagreement.


A special reminder to those who accuse CGC of taking bad advice from “people around him”:  Your allegation is utterly absurd. Both Professor Cohen and the NYU should be well aware that CGC is fully capable of independent thinking and impartial judgment. It is not likely for anyone to persuade him into blindly accepting certain views. If CGC were really as malleable as suggested, perhaps Professor Cohen and the NYU would have had an easier time exerting their influence on him.

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Voices from the Past. Lest We Forget

The Bloodied Face of Democracy: Radio Beijing Audio from the Tiananmen Square Massacre, June 3, 1989. Audio recorded by G. Jack Urso on June 3, 1989 via satellite news feed.

Urso wrote:

“I recorded the audio you are listening to on the evening of June 3, 1989. At the time, the announcer’s name was not reported. 12 years later, with the assistance of a former report for Radio Beijing, who was present at the Tiananmen Square Massacre, I discovered the announcer’s name iw Yuan Neng and he was transferred from his job for broadcasting this report.

The script was by the then head of Radio Beijing’s news service, Wu Xiaoyong, whose father at the time was a high-ranking government official. After the broadcast, Xiaoyong was put under house arrest for two to three years and later moved to Hong Kong.”

Chinese translation of the broadcast script posted by M Wei on YouTube:









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Sound of Silence in Memory of 8964

Thanks to our co-blogger courage89 for alerting me to this brilliant animation.

I’m calling on everyone to wear black tomorrow in memory of those brave and innocent souls who perished in early summer of 1989. May them rest in peace. May those who ordered the killing be brought to justice.


8964 from sofunny on Vimeo.

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June 4: “What is Truth?”

Catherine has asked me to post on our blog, a remembrance of June 4 1989.

So here’s the first thing that came to my mind, from the Gospel of John, 18:38.  That was when Jesus was on trial before Pontius Pilate, and Pilate asked Him, “What is truth?”

It was the ultimate and eternal confrontation between Truth and power.   Jesus personified Truth, but the Powers of the World refused to acknowledge any Truth other than their own power.   Consequently, Truth was murdered by power…

…but then the Truth rose from the dead!

What is Truth?   THIS is Truth!:


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Zhu Chengzhi as the Conscience of Society

The death of labour activist Li Wangyang (李旺阳) under police custody has triggered huge protests in Hong Kong and outraged human rights advocates worldwide. The Hunan authorities in China, in order to quell public anger, have made vague promises to re-open investigation into the cause of death. Many people are questioning the Hunan authorities’ motives, and they have every reason to be skeptical. Family and friends of Li Wangyang have remained under police detention. Among those taken away by State Security was dissident Zhu Chengzhi (朱承志). He was given a 10-day detention initially, on a charge of “disrupting social order”, after Zhu had reportedly refused to sign a guarantee promising not to question the circumstances around Li’s death. The police did not release Zhu Chengzhi when the initial administrative detention period had lapsed. Instead, police informed Zhu’s wife that he had been transferred to a police detention centre awaiting further investigation. Police also told Zhu’s wife that he could face charges for disclosing the news of Li Wangyang’s death to foreign media.

Since the news of Zhu Chengzhi’s further detention was released on Twitter, many fellow human rights activists in China and abroad have come forward to advocate for Zhu’s release. Among them is Fan Yanqiong (范燕琼), one of the three Fujianese netizens jailed for spreading information about an alleged gang rape and murder of a young woman in 2008. Below is my English translation of Fan Yanqiong’s recent article on Zhu Chengzhi.


Zhu Chengzhi as the Conscience of Society

Author: Fan Yanqiong
First published in canyu.org

I have been cut off the Internet since I was placed under house detention several weeks ago. News of Zhu Chengzhi’s detention has, nevertheless, reached me through the grapevine.  Mr Zhu is over 60 years of age. Accusation against him has been upgraded, from “public disorder” to “criminal misdemeanour”, simply because he has refused to give a written promise that he will cease advocating an investigation into the death of Li Wangyang.

I am not at all surprised by the news for two reasons. First of all, Zhu Chengzhi is a man of kindness and integrity; he is not the type who will go against his conscience, nor will he easily give up his social responsibility. Secondly, it is not beyond comprehension for a government that has committed crimes against its people to resort to desperate (if not foolish) measures in order to cover up its wrongdoings.

I learnt from my email communications with Mr Zhu that he was originally a well off mine owner. His multi-million dollar assets had unfortunately become a predatory target. He lost everything overnight when a court order had ruled in favour of the greedy government officials.

Again, I am not surprised. I have, on many occasions, covered similar news stories before. So far none of these cases have been resolved. Rampant abuse of power is particularly common in regions rich in mineral resources. Many mine owners have fallen victims in the hands of greedy and powerful local government officials. They end up joining the queue of petitioners. Once I was almost killed in Guizhou for exposing a similarly incident.  The memory of that frightening ordeal still haunts me today.

However, not all mine owners who tread the petitioners’ path manage to transform themselves into a democracy fighter with a firm conviction. In fact Zhu Chengzhi is so far the one and only such petitioner I have ever met. For that, Mr Zhu deserves my deep respect.

http://www.boxun.com; Fan Yanqiong, Front row in wheelchair; Zhu Chengzhi, Back row 1st right

I first met Zhu Chengzhi on 26 August 2010, the second day after I was released from prison. He travelled all the way from Yunnan.  Many netizens and petitioners had come to see me. But none of them had travelled such a long distance to get here. Nor did they stay for as long as Mr Zhu did.

At that time, I thought Zhu Chengzhi would just make a brief appearance, like most people would have done. To my surprise, he turned up again the next day. He sat down with me to carefully review, scene by scene, how “concern groups” from different parts of the country had come forward to show their support outside of the courthouse where I and two Fujianese netizens were tried for defamation in relation to the death of Yan Xiaoling.

That was a much-needed boost of morale for me. A reminder of the love and care I had received proved to be the best medicine to help me overcome depression, so that I could focus on improving my health. Zhu Chengzhi did not live in fantasyland for sure. He did not hesitate to admit that our support base of netizens from Fujian was a mere drop in the ocean when compared to an enormous population of 1.6 billion Chinese people nation-wide. Because of that, he reckoned there would still be a way to go before China could catch up with other civilized countries, and that democracy fighters would have to face a long battle ahead of them.

Mr Zhu finally departed on day three. Before he bid farewell, he said to me, “I am glad to see that you can eat without throwing up today. I can leave now resting assured that you are going to be fine.” [Note: While in prison, I had developed a food disorder that caused me to vomit every time I ate.]

I was deeply moved by Mr Zhu’s caring gesture. Even more commendable was that after his return to Yunnan, he rang to check on me daily, until my condition finally improved after I had received medical treatment in Hangzhou.

Zhu Chengzhi is not only a man of integrity who perseveres with acts of kindness; he has also demonstrated on many occasions that he has a deep sense of social responsibility.

It was around 5:00PM, the next day after the “Wang Lihong (王荔蕻) concern group” had staged a mass gathering outside the courthouse where Ms Wang was put on trial for “creating a disturbance”. I fell ill and was in bed at home.  Zhu Chengzhi rang from Beijing to let me know that everyone had retreated from the courthouse safely. He was on the way to catch a train home. But there was one thing he worried about: three Fujianese netizens, who were supposed to join the mass gathering, had not been seen since their arrival in Beijing. They were Lin Lanying (林兰英), Wu Huaying (吴华英) and A-Fu (阿福). Mr Zhu made me promised to look into this matter and informed him as soon as I heard from those missing people.

Once again he was the last person to retreat from a protest!

Once again he persevered with his activism to the very end!

I also learnt from the Internet earlier how Zhu Chengzhi had made a public statement to the effect that he had committed “the same crime” as Wang Lihong. It was his intention to share the load with Wang Lihong, with a hope that he would be able to rescue her from imprisonment. These, undoubtedly, are the traits of a truly noble person who has exhibited moral clarity and courage.

After the phone call, I was overwhelmed by a strong sense of respect towards this wonderful person. I thought at that time I should write an article about Zhu Chengzhi to show my admiration, but did not get around doing so until today. For this, I feel a strong remorse within.

As a man of compassion, vision and wisdom, Zhu Chengcheng is well aware of problems facing China today. He therefore plays an active role to ensure the nation is making progress in redressing those problems. Mr Zhu very seldom talks about his own grievances in my presence. He has never requested me to write any articles to expose how authorities have violated his rights. Instead, he focuses on what is lacking in China today and makes noises about them accordingly.

Zhu Chengzhi called me one day about two months ago. He said to me on the phone, “We need more people like Lin Zhao (林昭) today.” Ever since Mr Zhu has learnt about the story of Lin Zhao, he has insisted on publicly and openly mourning Li Zhao every year at the anniversary of her execution. It is his hope that the memorial services will motivate more people to show their concerns, to reflect upon history and to act together in order to change the rotten political system. It is most regrettable that this year State Security has moved in to stop him from attending. It is even more regrettable that today he is locked up because he firmly and unequivocally defends his basic human rights to integrity and morality.

I have no doubt that Zhu Chengzhi personifies the conscience of our society today.

Therefore, I believe no one with a conscience today should remain silent about the persecution befallen on Zhu Chengzhi.

Silence is not gold!

To remain silent is to be a willful accomplice to the perpetrator.

On this topic, an English poet John Donne (1572-1631) has once made this famous remark: “No man is an island, entire of itself. Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

Indeed, Zhu Chengzhi is suffering for us today! He suffers for us as a nation! What is happening to him today may well be what is going to happen to us tomorrow. I am therefore calling upon rights activists and petitioners from all over the country to travel there to stage a mass gathering. Let us take action to propel our nation forward! Let us help advance social reforms! Remember, we are not doing it just for Zhu Chengzhi, we are doing it for ourselves, and for the future of our nation!

May social conscience prevail!

May Zhu Chengzhi be reunited with his family soon!!

May Prime Minister Wen Jiaobao (温家宝) make great, great, great strides forward with his political reforms!!!

Fan Yanqiong

20 June 2012

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23-Year Remembrance of Tiananmen Square – 1989, Beijing China – POSTSCRIPT

Written by Diane Gatterdam

The Students of Tiananmen Square 1989 who stood in the face of death for the Human Rights of all Chinese people will always soar high. Their mission lives on until China is free…

Two days after the Tiananmen Massacre, or what the Party leaders called “Putting Down the Counterrevolutionary Riots” Party Leaders held a meeting.

The agenda included restoring order in Beijing and across the country and arranging for the central committee’s next meeting, the Fourth Plenum of the Thirteenth Central Committee.

Deng Xiaoping:

“If we hadn’t been firm with these counterrevolutionary riots, if we hadn’t come down hard, who knows what might have happened?

The PLA has suffered a great deal we owe them a lot, we really do. If the plots of the people who were pushing the riots had gotten anywhere; we’d have had civil war. And if there been civil war of course our side would have won, but just think of all the deaths!

We had no choice but to come down hard. “

Li Peng, who is known as the “Butcher of Tiananmen”, said:

“All the Western countries, with the United States in the lead, are issuing one or another kind if proclamation about applying sanctions against China and cutting China off from the world.”

Deng Xiaoping:

“Those countries like to come up with resolutions after resolution about how to interfere in our internal affairs. But the interference is no big deal for us, we can ignore it if we like, or we can fight back. Those countries want to apply sanctions against us? All right, but first, lets ask them why this is any of their business. And second, if it is then we can fight with sanctions too. Our economic growth might suffer, but not all that much. We have done all right under international sanctions for most of the 40 years of the Peoples Republic. So we don’t have to worry too much; we can take it calmly. This little tempest is not going to blow us over. We’re not trying to offend anybody; were just plugging away at our work. Anybody who tries to interfere in our affairs or threaten us is going to come up empty.”

“We should mete out the necessary punishments, in varying degrees, to the ambitious handful who were trying to subvert the Peoples Republic like Fang Lizhi.

Fang Lizhi

But we should be forgiving toward the student demonstrators and petition signers whether from Beijing, from elsewhere in China, or from overseas, and we shouldn’t try to track down individual responsibility among them….

We also need to watch our methods as we take control of the situation. We should be extra careful about laws, especially the laws and regulations on assembly, association, marches, demonstrations, journalism, and publishing. Activities that break the law must be suppresses.

This man was beaten and killed in broad day light.

We can’t just allow people to demonstrate whenever they want to. If People demonstrate 365 days a year and don’t want to do anything else, reform and opening will get nowhere. We’ve got to make it understood both inside and outside China that we’re tightening control for the sake of stability, which means for the sake of reform and opening and modern construction.”

On June 8th the Municipal Government and Martial Law Headquarters declared the nationwide Federation of Autonomous Student Unions and Federation of Autonomous Labor Unions illegal and warned union members that they should turn themselves in to the police or risk being arrested and punished severely.

The headquarters also called on Chinese citizens to strike back by exposing and denouncing the criminal activities of the counterrevolutionaries. To facilitate what it hoped to be an outpouring of denunciations from informants, 17 special telephone hot lines were set up to receive tips. Contrary to the Party’s hopes, however, irate citizens began telephoning the hot lines with bogus information, so that they quickly became jammed up and virtually useless.

Propaganda posters started to appear everywhere and a coffee table type book called ”Truth about the Beijing Turmoil” was published portraying the Government as the conquering hero’s, loved by the people.

On June 9th Deng Xiaoping reemerged from seclusion in a coming out ceremony held inside Zhongnanhai in Huairen Hall (Cherishing Humanity Hall).

He entered the room dressed in an ordinary gray/blue Mao suit, flanked by President Yang Shangkun and Vice President Wang Zhen.

Deng greeted members of the Standing Committee and military commanders who had “Quelled the turmoil”. They smiled, clapped spiritedly and reached out enthusiastically to shake his hand as if he were a politician on the campaign trail.

After a moment of silence for the “Military Martyrs” who lost their lives on the streets, Deng launched into an extemporaneous talk that hailed the PLA as:

“Truly a Great Wall of iron and steel around the Party an Country.”

Each soldier was given a watch to commemorate their so called “Brave Actions”.

This charade was telecast as eager citizens sat spellbound in front of their TV’s to hear how the paramount leader would assess what has just happened.

Almost immediately, Beijing Television news began to show film clips of frightened and often badly beaten detainees being taken into custody. Some had broken ribs, and they were so badly beaten to such a horrifying state that when they were turned over to the PSB, they took pictures of them so as not to be blamed, and to have proof that these people arrived in their hands in this state.

Viewer’s understood the intended message of the video images all too well: Those perceived to have been among the “very small handful of troublemakers” would now pay dearly for the trouble they caused, especially young workers, who had none of the protective status of elite students.

By June 11 municipal authorities had already detained some 400 looters, vagrants rumormongers, individual entrepreneurs, and recidivist criminals.

Pictures also started to surface of the dead.

On June 13th fear levels among protesters hiding rose precipitously when the government issued it’s “21 Most Wanted List” of student activists.

At the top of the list was Wang Dan, who only days earlier told a reporter from the New York Times, “I have nothing to be afraid of, I don’t think they will be able to imprison me as long as Wei Jingsheng.”

This is the list of the 21 most wanted:

  1. Wang Dan [3769 0030], male, 24 A native of Jilin. Student in the Department of History, Peking University. Approximately 1.73 metres tall. Has a pointed lower jaw, relatively thin hair, cavities on his front teeth, and relatively thin physical features. Wears glasses for myopia. Speaks with husky Peking accent.
  2. Wuer Kaixi [0702 1422 7030 1585], formerly known as Wuer Kaixi [0702 1422 0418 6007]. Male, born on 17th February 1968. Uygur nationality. A native of Yining County, Xinjiang Autonomous Region. Student of the 1988 class of the Education Department, Peking Normal University. Is 1.74 metres tall. Hair parted in the middle. Hair colour is yellowish. Has long face, big eyes, thick lips, thick lips, relatively white skin, relatively rough voice. Speaks Putonghua. Regularly wears green military trousers.
  3. Liu Gang [0941 0474], male. A native of Liaoyuan city, Jilin. Former graduate student of the Department of Physics, Peking University, now unemployed. Approximately 1.65 meter’s tall. Has a square face, full beard, relatively long sideburns. Speaks with a north-eastern accent.
  4. Chai Ling [2693 3781], female. Born on 15th April 1966. Han nationality. A native of Rizhao city, Shandong. Graduate student of the 1986 class of the Department of Psychology, Peking Normal University. Is 1.56 meters tall. Has a round face, single-fold eyelids, high cheekbones, short hair and relatively white skin.
  5. Zhou Fengsuo [0719 6912 6956], male. Born on 15th October 1967. Han nationality. A native of Changan county, Shaanxi Province. A student of the 1985 class of the Department of Physics, Qinghua University. Is 1.76 meters tall. Has a square face, pointed chin and quite heavy eyebrows.
  6. Zhai Weimin [5049 0251 3046], originally called Zhai Weimin [5049 3634 3046]. Male, 21. A native of Xinan county, Henan Province. Student of Peking Economics College. Is 1.68 metres tall. Thin, has a long, oval face, crew cut, single-fold eyelids, relatively dark facial complexion. Speaks with quite a heavy Henan accent.
  7. Liang Qingtun [2733 2348 2557], alias Liang Zhaoren [2733 0340 0088], Male. Born on 11th May 1969. A native of Pengxi county, Sichuan Province. Student of the 1987 class of the Department of Psychology, Peking University. Is 1.71 metres tall. Has quite a thin physique and quite dark skin, a long squarish face, small eyes, high nose, quite thick lips. Can speak Putonghua.
  8. Wang Zhengyun [3769 2973 0061], male, 21, of Kucong nationality. Address Lianfang village, Nanke town, Mengla district, Jinping county, Honghe prefecture, Yunnan Province. Student of the Central Institute for Nationalities. Height about 1.67 meters. Long, thin face, hair parted in the middle, dark brown complexion with freckles.
  9. Zheng Xuguang [6774 2485 0342], male, 20. Native of Mixian county, Henan. Address 56 North Lane, Huancheng West Road, Xian city. Student of Peking Aeronautic and Astronautic University. Height 1.81 meters, weight 63 kg. Long, oval face, single-fold eyelids, a pointed chin, big ears.
  10. Ma Shaofang [7456 1421 2455], male, born in November, 1964. Native of Jiangdu city, Jiangsu Province. Student of the evening writing classes of Peking Film Academy. Height about 1.67 meters. On the thin side, long face, pointed chin, dark-skinned, wears glasses for myopia.
  11. Yang Tao [2799 3447], male, 19. Native of Fuzhou city, Fujian. History student of Peking University. Height about 1.70metres. On the thin side, high cheekbones, double-fold eyelids, wears glasses, speaks Putonghua.
  12. Wang Zhixin [3769 3112 2450], male. Born in November 1967. Student of China University of Political Science and Law. Address Textile Industry School, Yuci City, Shanxi. Height 1.69 meters. Long hair, wears glasses.
  13. Feng Congde [1409 1783 1795], male, 22. Native of Sichuan Province. Candidate of the Institute of Remote Sensing of Peking University. Height about 1.70 meters. On the thin side, dark-skinned.
  14. Wang Chaohua [3769 6389 5478], female, 37. Graduate student of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Height about 1.63 meters. Rather thin, long face, dark brown complexion, triangular eyes, short hair.
  15. Wang Youcai [3769 2589 2088, male. Born in June 1966. Native of Zhejiang Province. Graduate student of the Law Department of Peking University.
  16. Zhang Zhiqing [1728 1807 3237], male. Born in June 1964. Native of Taiyuan city, Shangxi. Student of China Political Science and Law University.
  17. Zhang Boli [1728 0130 4567], male, 26. Native of Wangkui county, Heilongjiang Province. Student of the writing class of Peking University. Height about 1.75 meters. A little overweight, round face, double-fold eyelid, upturned nose, thick lips. Speaks with a north-eastern accent.
  18. Li Lu [2621 6922], male, about 20. Student of Nanjing University. Height about 1.74 meters. Middle type of figure, square chin, protruding lower teeth.
  19. Zhang Ming [1728 6900], male. Born in April 1965. Native of Jilin city, Jilin Province. Student of the Automotive Engineering Department of Qinghua University.
  20. Xiong Wei [3574 3555], male. Born in July 1966. Native of Yingcheng county, Hubei Province. Student of the 1985 class of the Radio Engineering Department of Qinghua University. Address No 502, Unit 47, No 1 Mashengmiao, Haidian, Peking.
  21. Xiong Yan [3574 8746], male. Born in September 1964. Native of Shuangfeng county, Hunan Province. Graduate student of the Law Department of Peking University. Address Xingziceshui Hospital, Shuangfeng county, Hunan Province.

Photos of each were now broadcast repeatedly on nationwide television along with their “criminal activities” and appeals for information on their whereabouts. The PSB began a massive search of homes, spied on suspects at work, and pressured people to inform on friends.

Surveillance was stepped up at train stations, airports and docks to prevent those who were wanted from escaping.

The Beijing Airport was jammed with people trying to leave.

Where are they now?

Below is a list of some of the key people who where involved in this most profound and epic event in China’s History, one that reverberated thoughout the world.

Liu Xiaobo in 1989 and Liu’s picture today on a poster asking for his freedom as he sits in prison 21 years later, 21 years fighting for human rights and justice in China

One June 6th Liu Xiaobo was picked up by police while bicycling in the street, pushed into a van and packed off to Qinchheng Prison. He was accused by the government as being one of the “Black Hands” behind the turmoil. Today, 21 years later Liu sits in a Chinese prison for co-writing Charter 08, he is still fighting for the Human Rights of the Chinese people.

On June 9th BSP arrested and raided the apartment of Ren Wanding a 41-year-old Human Rights Activist.

On June 12th Li Jinjin, the legal scholar who advised Han Dongfang was arrested at gunpoint in his home.

On June 19th Han Dongfang arrived back in front of the PSB compound where ironically he had first seen student demonstrators beaten in 1986. Han walked into the police office and said, “I am Han Dongfang, the Security Bureau is after me, and I would like to turn myself in.” Han spent 2 years in prison with out a trial were he almost died. After his release for medical reasons, he was expelled to Hong Kong and in 1994 founded the China Labor Bulletin to defend and promote workers rights in China. Han has worked tirelessly everyday since 89 in their defense.

On July 2nd, the Chinese Government caught the number 1 on their list.

Wang Dan was picked up while meeting with a Taiwanese journalist who was helping him flee.

Like Wu’er Kaixi and many others, Wang had fled to the south in hopes of escaping to Hong Kong. But after failing to connect with anyone in the underground, Wang was forced to return to Beijing. After 18 months he was sentenced to 4 years in prison. In 1993 was released early and continued publicly promoting political reform in China. He was rearrested in 1996 and sentenced to another 11 years in jail for “Conspiring to subvert the Chinese Government.” He was finally released on medical parole in 1998 and expelled to the US. He has worked for democracy and Human Rights in China ever since. He is a true inspiration to all.

2nd on the most wanted list Wu’er Kaixi fled China in the weeks after the crackdown arriving in Paris and then the US. He lived in California for a number of years and then in the late 1990’s moved to Taiwan. He runs his own business and still fights for Human Rights in China and also for the Ughar People. In 2009 he tried to go back to China through Macau to see his parents whom he has not seen since 89, and was arrested and expelled. This year 2010 he tried again in Japan to get into the Chinese Embassy and again was arrested. He is another man who inspires me and many around the world.

Chai Ling and Feng Congde spent 10 months on the run before finally reaching Hong Kong. They fled first to France where they were divorced. Feng stayed there, while Chai Ling moved to the US. Chai’s forceful stance during the 89 standoff made her a very controversial figure especially after a 1995 documentary called “Gates of Heavenly Peace” where she appeared and said, “I think only when blood flows like rivers on the square will the Chinese people be able to really open their eyes.” Chai Ling runs a business in the US and last year became a Born Again Christian. Feng now lives in California.

On June 10th after hiding in Beijing in a vacant apartment, Shen Tong with the help others boarded a Northwest Airlines plane to Tokyo bound for the US. He was said to have gotten the last Visa issued in Beijing to the US. Shen Tong started the “Democracy for China Fund” and wrote the book- “Almost a Revolution” He now lives in New York City with his family. His story was truly inspiring.

Li Lu escaped China and landed in the US. He wrote the book “ Moving the Mountain” that was also made into a movie . He works and lives in New York City.

Wang Chaohua went into hiding before escaping to US. She had to leave her small son behind in China and didn’t see him again for 15 years. She moved to Los Angeles, and now lives in London.

Zhang Boli spend over 2 years hiding in China, traveling and living in small provinces in fear everyday of being caught. He finally escaped and wrote the book ”Escape from China” which tells his tale of escape and the agony he went through. He now lives in Washington DC where he is the pastor of a church.

The three men that defaced the portrait of Mao, Yu Dongyue, Lu Decheng and Yu Zhijian spent 20 years in prison and were just released on 2009.

Fang Lizhi and his wife Li Shuxian spent almost 2 years hiding in the Unites States Embassy in Beijing before escaping to the US. He continues to work for the cause of democracy and human rights in China every day.

Wang Juntao was arrested and has sentenced in 1989 and again in 1991 was sentenced to 13 years in prison. He was expelled to the US in 1994. He continues to work for the cause of democracy and human rights in China everyday.

Liu on closed-circuit television in the prison
when several American reporters visited
during a government-approved trip.

Liu Gang, one of the leaders served a six-year prison sentence in northeast China. When he was released, he fled to the United States because constant police harassment in China. They would not let him find work, or a place to live. He still works for Human Rights in China.

Premier Zhao Ziyang spent next 16 years of his life under house arrest until his death in 2005. During that time he secretly recorded his memoirs which were published on the eve of the Tiananmen crackdowns 20th anniversary, the book “Prisoner of the State.” A true Chinese hero.

*How did some escape?

(See notes at the very end of this post)

A group of parents who’s children where killed on the streets of Beijing during those horrific days, have come to be known as “The Tiananmen Mothers.” They have fought all these years for answers and have held the Chinese Communist Government totally responsible. They became Chinese democracy activists promoting a change in the government’s position over the suppression of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. This group is led by Nobel Peace Prize nominee Ding Zilin, a retired university professor whose teenage son was shot and killed by government troops during the protests.

To this day the Government has not acknowledged their requests for:

  • The right to mourn peacefully in public;
  • The right to accept humanitarian aid from organizations and individuals inside and outside China;
  • No more persecution of victims, including those injured in the shootings and the families of the dead;
  • The release of all people still in prison for their role in the 1989 protests; and
  • A full, public investigation into the crackdown.

They also want the Chinese government to name the dead, compensate families and punish those responsible. The government made a payout of 70,000 yuan for the first time in 2006 to one of the victims families.

The Tiananmen Mothers

These elderly parents are admired around the world as extraordinary champions of Human Rights.

I pour my heart out to the white cloud,
I, the homesick wanderer.
Oh please, float back to my native land,
And drop the tears I shed for my mother.
-Poem witten by Wu’er Kaixi

“Oh my brothers and sisters, when iron wheels rolled and fire bullets flew, your voice they muffled and the your sky overcast, but your thoughts they never could kill … and the battle still rages. May the Gate of Heavenly Peace sees the light of freedom soon!”

– Bhuchung D. Sonam Tibetan Poet, Freedom Fighter

*I want to thank Catherine A Yeung who’s amazing blog “Under the Jacaranda Tree” has been posting this remembrance for 50 days and who has been able to reach thousands of Chinese People inside China who may have never seen some of these photos or read the whole truth.

It is my heartfelt hope that this story inspire a new generation of Chinese People to pick up the touch of freedom from these Hero’s of 1989 and continue the fight for the rights that belong to them.

*I am thankful to my friend Khang Hei one of the amazing photographer’s, who’s work I have used throughout this post. He was studying in Beijing during 1989. His brilliant work captured the story of this revolution and illustrated the passion of the students, the heart of the people and the in-humanity of the government. Through his work the world was able to see the truth no matter how the Communist Party tried to hide it.

He continues to tell amazing stories through his photography around the world, in Tibet, Burma, The Ho Chi Minh Trail, Cambodia’s Killing Fields, Angkor Wat and many more. His work can be seen in galleries from New York to Asia.

*On a personal Note – I devote this 50 day remembrance to my beloved mom, Doris Gatterdam who after she died leads me to China and still leads on this unknown path.

There are so many names that were not mentioned in this remembrance and so much information that was not included because this was always meant to be a day by day overview. I have included a list of books and films that are a great reference.

Books to read:
– Tiananmen Papers- Andrew Nathan and Perry Link
– Mandate of Heaven- Orville Schell
– Almost a Revolution- Shen Tong
– Disco’s and Democracy- Orville Schell
– Moving the Mountain- Li Lu
– Black hands of Beijing- George Black Robin Munro
– Children of the Dragon- Human Rights in China
– Bring down the Great Wall – Fang Lizhi
– The Power of Tiananmen- Dingxin Zhou
– Beijing Spring- David and Peter Turnley
– Prisoner of the State- Zhao Ziyang
– Escape from China- Zhang Boli
– A glossy propaganda book published by the Chinese Government called “Truth about the Beijing Turmoil”

Video’s about Tiananmen Square:
– The Gate of Heavenly Peace – documentary
– Moving the Mountain- Movie
– Tank Man – PBS documentary
– Democracy Crushed, Tiananmen Square – The History Channel
– Tiananmen Declassified- The History Channel

*How did some escape China?

“Operation Yellow Bird” is the name for the clandestine rescue from China of the pro-democracy leaders (“Operation Yellow Bird” is named after a Chinese proverb in which a bird rescues an insect being eaten by a grasshopper).

The Hong Kong-based operation, which worked with Triad criminal gangs to smuggle the dissidents across the border, is believed to have helped more than 150 people to escape. The average cost of an escape was HK $50,000-100,000, paid to the snake-heads who brought the fugitives to Hong Kong more than double the normal price to smuggle someone out, because of the additional risk. The more famous the person, the higher the price.

Yellow Bird received considerable financial backing from businessmen and show business personalities, many ordinary people who protested in Hong Kong and even public officials in China co-operated with the network in its early days, while diplomats in Hong Kong helped the dissidents secure visas for rapid passage out of the colony.

During Last week in May, U.S. Ambassador Lilley handed out more than 200 visas to Intellectuals, scientists, and students and on several occasions lent money to escapees in Beijing.

For 6 months after the June crackdown, CIA’s most valued agents in China, Hong Kong, and Macao provided a safe haven and means of escape.

The network operated with the active cooperation from the colonial HK government, which waived normal immigration rules to facilitate the entry of the fugitives and their escape to third countries in the west.

One of the main organizers was Chen Da-Zheng, a Hong Kong businessman, who said that, between June and December 1989, he helped 133 people escape, using thousands of dollars of his own money. He ended 20 years of silence in a long interview in an issue of the Chinese-language Yazhou Zhoukan.

One person who received help to escape was Chen Yizi, an adviser to the late disgraced party chief Zhao Ziyang, who fled from Beijing to Hainan Island in the far south of China where he hid in the house of a doctor. Two members of the underground network put him in the sweltering hold of a 7,000-ton freighter, which went to a port in the Pearl River Delta, where a motorboat brought him to Hong Kong.

Others included some of the democracy leaders at the top of China’s “Most Wanted” list, such as the student activists Wu’er Kaixi, Chai Ling and Li Lu as well as Yan Jiaqi and Wan Runnan.

Not everything went well. One of Chen’s main snake-heads, with a fleet of 56 motorboats, was arrested and given a life sentence. Four of his sailors died in accidents at sea, in fires and a collision; Chen gave their families HK$500,000 in compensation.

Two leading dissidents, Wang Juntao and Chen Ziming, reached Zhanjiang, in the south of Guangdong. But wrong intelligence led to their arrest and the two associates Chen sent to help them.

Fang Lizhi, and his wife went to Embassy for safe haven, and ended up sending quite some time there before escaping to the west.

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23 Year Remembrance of Tiananmen Square – June 5th 1989, Beijing China

Written by Diane Gatterdam

Twenty-three years ago on this day Monday June 5th 1989, as a column of tanks rumbled eastward down Chan’an Avenue, several Western Cameramen in the Beijing Hotel captured what was to be the most enduring image of the whole seven weeks. A young man holding nothing more than a jacket in one hand and shopping bag in the other stepped out in front of the oncoming tanks.

New photo of Tank Man just found

For one quintessential moment, the entire armored column came to a grinding halt. When the lead tank jerked to the right to circumvent this unexpected obstruction, the young man stepped into its path and stretched out him arms, as if he were trying to corral a stubborn animal.

Then he climbed atop the halted tank and began to bang on the turret. Then the head of a surprised crew member peeked out the hatch, this brave man was reported to have shouted, “Turn around! Stop killing my people!” When he finally jumped down onto the pavement again, several agitated friends ran out and dragged him to safety…

Or did they? To this day, no one knows what happened to this brave man now simply called “The Tank Man”

All day long the people of Beijing challenged the tanks in their streets, running at them and them running from them trying to avoid the soldiers shooting back at these unarmed civilians.

Other young people engaged in different kinds of hit-and-run protests. They burned stray military vehicles and attacked any “Green Devils” as soldiers came to be know, whose misfortune it was to become separated from their units.

According to the governments own statistics, during the three months immediately following the massacre, 170 assaults against martial–law troops led to 21 deaths.

People displaying bullets found in their homes.

Beijing resident living on the west side of Tiananmen Square shows off a slug that came through into his window.

Many people young and old where killed sitting in their own homes as guns sprayed bullets randomly into their apartments, killing as many people as they could.

The day before on June 4th, Fang Zheng and other classmates were evacuating from Tiananmen Square. As he turned back to save a female student, he was run over by a tank and ended up with both of his legs crushed by that tank.

After June 4th he recovered and won two gold medals in a national disabled persons athletic competition, but his credentials to compete in international events were taken away from him due to his involvement in the June 4th protests. He has been fighting for the rights of the Chinese people since this tragic action by this cruel government.

As soon as Shen Tong walked into his parents’ house a few blocks from the Square his mother said to his uncle, ”You can’t wait any longer, take Yuan Yuan away quickly!” Shen was in a trance. “I am putting my son’s life in your hands” his mother said, and with that he was put on the back of his uncles bike.

As they rode through the streets of Beijing they saw soldiers in personnel carriers firing at the feet of a row of people on the street, hitting their legs and feet. Those in the front knelt down in pain, but the people kept coming.

A group of people had cornered a man in an official looking uniform down one of the alleys hitting him with bricks. Shen Tong jumped off the back of the bike, trying to stop them. “Please stop it,” he begged. His uncle pulled him away saying: “Its no use he is almost dead” and put him back on the bike and rode off quickly.

“The soldiers are killing the people and the people are killing the soldiers” Shen said.

They eventually arrived at an empty apartment building that had been recently constructed.

This was to be his hiding place.

After the students who left the Square got back to Beida, they decided that the only way for them was to go underground individually and work alone. They exchanged addresses of likely hiding places, and arranged passwords, liaisons and regular times and methods for contacting each other.

Feng Congde took out the few thousand yuan left from the headquarters treasury and divided it among the 7 or 8 student leader left there.

Now they had to part.

“We had known each other for only a few weeks, but we now shared everything together, and had wandered back and forth between life and death several times.”
-Li Lu

Beijing had come to a halt. Stores had closed, postal service and sanitation services had ceased, and most people stayed home from work.

Nobody knew what to believe amid all the rumors about imminent civil war, the assassination of leaders, and workers’ strikes.

On Television soldiers were shown sweeping up debris in the streets and the Central Committee and the State Council issued a proclamation declaring:

“Quelling of this horrifying counterrevolutionary rebellion is a totally righteous action that is in keeping with the desire and basic interest of the people in Beijing and all over the country.”

It extravagantly claimed that the real aim of the protesters was to take up arms in order to overthrow the government and ultimately kill the party’s 47 million members.

The plotters and organizers of the counterrevolutionary rebellion are mainly a handful of people who have for a long time obstinately persisted in bourgeois liberalization, engaged in political scheming, collaborated with hostile forces overseas, and provided illegal organizations with top secrets of the party and state,” the proclamation charged.

“Those who committed the atrocities of beating, smashing, looting, and burning are mainly unreformed elements released after serving prison sentences, hordes of political hooligans, remnants of the Gang of Four, and other dregs of society.

In brief, they are reactionary elements who harbor a deep hatred for the Communist Party and the socialist system.”

The Chinese Communist Party were liars then in 1989, and are liars still to this day 23 years later in 2013. They have never admitted to this huge atrocity against their own people, but the Chinese People will never forget…

*(Tomorrow June 6th, will be the last post. It will have plenty of new information and updates.)

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23 Year Remembrance of Tiananmen Square – June 4th 1989, Beijing China

Written by Diane Gatterdam

* (Note-There are very graphic images in this post)

Twenty three years ago on this day Sunday June 4th 1989, “We are now completely surrounded” said Li Lu, “The army was advancing from three directions. Students and Beijing residents crowded into the student headquarters.”

About 1:00 someone came up to Chai Ling with a knife in his hand and said, “You must give the order to evacuate the Square. So many are dead.”

Chai Ling and I don’t know what to do, If we led the 5000 people toward the soldiers lines with no promise from the government to stop the shooting, could we get off the Square alive?

We could see the flashing of bayonets and the helmets all around its edge.

Four intellectuals came to the headquarters and said we should withdraw from the Square at once, and offered to negotiate with the army on our behalf. There seemed to be no alternative so the four of them left on their mission.”

Chai Ling and Li Lu then left the headquarters and went to the monument to talk to the students. The students saw them and started to applaud.

Li Lu said, “We the members of the headquarters have spent so many days with all of you. Today is the last time we will be together. I hope everyone will face the last moment calmly. We will stick to the principle of non-violence to the very end. We won’t swear when sworn at, we won’t hit back when hit. The words I have said so often now sounded pale and powerless.

Was this the government that taught us to love the Party? Was it the Government who said the people’s army would not take ever a single needle and thread from the people?

Chai Ling spoke to the students. Her last speech was more wrapped than ever in the mystique of blood.

“There is a story, she began, about a clan of a billion ants who lived on a mountain. One day there was a terrible fire on the mountain. The only way for them to escape was to hold each other tight into a ball and roll down the mountainside. But the ants on the outside of the ball would be burnt to death. We are now standing on the Monument. We are the ones who stand on the outside of our nation. Only our sacrifice can save it, only our blood can open the eyes of our people and the rest of the world.”

Her words, so calm, seemed momentarily to defeat the monsters and devils.

Soldiers now were at the intersection of Xidan and Chang’an Avenue.

The Avenue was filled packed with angry people and everyone was crying.

Pedi carts were everywhere picking up the wounded and the dead.

At the intersection of Liubukou where the last barricades before the Square had been set up, an even more grisly scene of slaughter was enacted.

“As the army reached the intersection, an angry crowd of over ten thousand surged forward to surround the troops,” wrote a Chinese student, later published by the Yale –China Association.

“ This time the soldiers turned on the people with even greater brutality. The sound of machine guns rang loud and clear.

Because some of the bullets used were the kind that explode within the body, when they struck, the victims intestines and brains spilled out. I saw five such bodies.
They looked like disemboweled animal carcasses.

A man with a Chinese journalist’s identity card all covered with blood rushed toward the troops screaming, “ Kill me! Kill me!

You’ve already killed three of my colleagues! “

Then I saw them shoot him and when he fell, several soldiers rushed over to kick him and slash at him with their bayonets.”

“Troops have been firing indiscriminately and still people would not more back.” BBC New Chief Correspondent Kate Adie reported in a television broadcast after visiting both the western and eastern ends of Chang’an Avenue. “Indeed, it was hard at the time to grasp that this army was launching into an unarmed civilian population as if charging into battle. There was not one voice on the streets that did not express despair and rage.

“TELL THE WORLD” they said to us.

Kate Adie had her car commandeered to rush a young women with a severe head wound to Children’s Hospital near by the Square, were she found herself caught in a crush of people frantically trying to arrange medical care for wounded friends.

“Casualties were arriving every few seconds on bicycles, on park benches, on tricycle rickshaws, all with gunshot wounds. Housewives, elderly residents, people shot while sitting in their homes” she said in her BBC reports. “The operating theater was overflowing, and many of the staff were in tears.”

As these horrific scenes were unfolding those who turned on their TV’s to see what was happening were treated to one of the most surreal sideshows of this macabre night. Premier Li Peng , who had not been heard from in nine days, was giving a taped speech about government strategy to combat environmental pollution.

The southern part of the square, below the Mao Mausoleum, was littered with burning cars and buses. In the north end, almost the only sign of life was the emergency tent of the Beijing United Medical College. Surrounded by a thin circle of student pickets, doctors worked feverishly to save a steady stream of casualties, as the 5000 students huddled tightly together on the three tiers of the monument. They seemed calm, almost resigned. Some quietly wrote their wills. There was no sense of panic, though the steady chatter of gunfire could be heard on the fringes of the square and in the darkness beyond.

Abruptly, the remaining loudspeakers burst to life with an endlessly repeated warning “This is a serious counterrevolutionary rebellion, everyone was to leave the square immediately.”

“We had never imagined that the government could be so cruel and so barbarous” said Wu’er Kaixi, “We heard the first news that a student from my university was hit in the head at Liuukou, this was the first time I cried uncontrollably.”

At 2:00 am, the main invasion force, entering the city from the west, arrived at the smouldering ruins of the BWAF tents.

The first column of troop transport trucks now started to advance in the square, hesitantly, moving forward at walking pace. Groups of infantry escorted them, at first just a thin line, but soon increasing to a dense column, thousands of troops, all wearing steel helmets and carrying assault rifles. They took about an hour to deploy fully along the northern edge of the square.

Several hundred troops moved across from Tiananmen Gate to seal the northeast entrance to the square.

A student named Ke Feng, one of the main organizers of the Goddess of Democracy Project, was hiding in the small park outside the Museum of Chinese History. In the first five minutes or so, he saw about twenty people in the vicinity of the pedestrian underpass hit by stray bullets, including five people who fell and couldn’t get up again.

“The soldiers”, Ke Feng recalled, “were jumping for joy, as if playing a game.” The PLA sealed off the entire square by 3:00 A.M. Thousands of silent troops, each carrying an AK-47 and a long wooden cudgel, positioned themselves along the steps in front of the museum. On the other side of the square, in front of the Great Hall of the People, it was the same. Only a small exit corridor in the southeast would be left open.

“At 3:00 am I looked at my watch and the wounded were still coming in,” remembered a doctor who requested anonymity. “There were college students, teachers, local residents, children, elderly people. Two students were brought in. Their friends had torn off their shirts and pants to tie up their bleeding thighs.

There were 5 students from Beida and Nanjing University who were stuck together with there own blood when we pulled them out of the ambulance. Three of were already dead, but we managed to save two others. In tears, the nurses sent the bodies to the morgue. The emergency room was a mess, the floor was stained with blood, everyone was cursing and sobbing.”

At the stroke of 4:00 A.M, all lights went out . . . .

But still the attack on Tiananmen Square did not materialize. There was nothing but darkness and silence.

The students remained seated on the Monument, as before. No one made any move to leave. Noiselessly, as if in a dream, a busload of student reinforcements appeared from the southeast.

The loudspeakers on the monument crackled back on and a voice announced – deadpan, as if reading a railroad schedule:

“We will now play the Internationale, to raise our fighting spirit.” The famous words, “Arise, ye starvelings of the earth” floated across the square to the soldiers, who had been taught to sing them by the Party.

At about 4:15 A.M, an array of lights suddenly came on all across the front of the Great Hall of the People, filling the west side of the square with a soft, luminous glow. At the same time floodlights went on along the facade of the Forbidden City. Next, the southernmost doors of the Great Hall swung open, releasing a river of gun-toting troops, many of them with fixed bayonets.

These soldiers formed an L-shaped blocking line across to the front of the Mao Mausoleum. Troops fired warning shots at the monument from the steps of the Museum of Chinese History, and sparks flew from the obelisk, high above the students heads.

Just after 4:30 A.M the loudspeakers came on again, and Feng Congde who introduced himself as a leader of the Beijing Students Autonomous Federation took the microphone.

“Students, we must on no account quit the square.

We will now pay the highest price possible for the sake of securing democracy in China. Our blood shall be the consecration.” There was a tense pause, and another voice, less educated rang out. It was an anonymous leader of the BWAF. “We must all leave here immediately,” he cried, “for a terrible bloodbath is about to take place. There are troops surrounding us on all sides and the situation is now extraordinarily dangerous. To wish to die here is no more than an immature fantasy.”

The struggle between immolation and compromise, or as some of the students would have it, between principle and surrender – continued to the last.

On the government side, every vestige of reason seemed to disappear. But in the end reason triumphed, after a fashion, among the protesters who held on in the Square.

For that, the four members of the seventy-two-hour hunger strike could take the greatest credit. In the final predawn hours, they went among the crowd at the monument, persuading some demonstrators to surrender their sticks, chains, and bottles, arguing with them that resistance was futile.

To their horror, they discovered one fifteen year-old at the foot of the monument with a machine gun, hidden in padded quilts, trained on the advancing army. The boy was incoherent with grief.

Someone said they had killed his brother. The gun was wrested away from him, and Liu Xiaobo, the professor and one of the hunger strikers took it and smashed it to pieces.
The hunger strikers then confronted the ragged remnants of the student leadership – Chai Ling, Feng Congde, and Li Lu. They told them that there was no choice but to negotiate with the army.

The rock singer Hou Dejian and the economist Zhou Duo, an unlikely pair, walked across the darkened expanse of the square to seek out the officers in command.

Chai Ling declined the invitation to go with them. She was commander in chief, she told them, she could not abandon her people.

Two men came forward to meet Hou and Zhou. They introduced themselves only as Commissar Ji and Commissar Gu.

“There is only one way the troops will not by mistake, do any harm to the students in the Square while carrying out our orders,” they told the hunger strikers tersely.

“The students and other people must leave unconditionally. You have until daybreak. The southeast corner of the Square has been left open. If you could persuade the students to leave,” the officers added, “You will be praised.”

There was no option but to leave immediately. They had no bargaining chips left. Too much blood had already been shed. Hou promised that the hunger strikers would guard the retreat and would be the last to leave.

There was a momentary silence, then furious shouts of “Shame!” and “Surrender!” From the northern sector of the Square came a distant rumble.

The tanks had started their engines.

Intense gunfire could be heard and bullets were ricocheting off the upper part of the monument.

Minutes passed with nothing to break the spell until Li Lu proposed taking a final vote.

Given the darkness, a show of hands would not work. They would have to make do with a voice vote.

There were two choices: Evacuate or Stand Firm. Some swear to this day that the “Stand Firm” voices were louder; others say opinions were equally divided. But Li Lu, opting this time for wisdom over the clamor of the masses, announced that those who favored evacuation had won.

The occupation of Tiananmen Square would end.

Now it was the frightened students’ turn to endure the humiliation of defeat and retreat. They had to pass through a gauntlet of taunting troops, some of whom aimed weapons at them or fired menacingly into the air. According to a reporter who was among them, several tanks added to their ordeal by charging full speed at the retreating students, stopping just before hitting them.

“They had tears rolling down their faces, men, women alike,” wrote the reporter.

“All looked shaken and many were trembling badly or walking unsteadily, but all looked proud.”

As they straggled out of the Square, an armored vehicle rammed the Goddess of Democracy, knocked it to the ground, and crushed it beneath its steel treads.

Seeing her being destroyed was for many of the students almost as agonizing as abandoning the Square itself.

According to Hou Dejian, and number of Western Journalist such as Nicolas Kristof of the New York Times, most if not all the students were able to leave the Square unharmed. Although many thought that students may still have been in there.

Before leaving the Monument to the Martyrs of the People that night, one student scrawled a final farewell on the base.

“June 4th 1989, the Chinese People Shed Blood for Democracy.”

At the front, Chai Ling, Li Lu, and Feng Congde marched together, leading the contingent turning west at Qianmen then north behind the Great Hall of People. From there, they entered Chang’an Avenue at Liubukou. Behind them, the procession of students stretched as long as a mile. This was where police had used tear gas to take back a bus-load of weapons less than twenty hours earlier.

Li Lu had heard many reports of horrific fighting between the army and residents along Chang’an Avenue merely hours earlier, but he could not spot much residue of that bloody battle.

As the main thoroughfare of the capital, Chang’an Avenue had four vehicular lanes in each direction. On each side, there was another wide lane designated for bicycle traffic.

A green iron-bar fence separated the bicycle lanes from pedestrian sidewalks. Some of the fences had been taken off to make barricades but most were still intact. The student leaders led their procession across the avenue to the north side and then turned west. They chose to walk in the bicycle lane.

As they finally turned west on Chang’an Avenue, they heard a threatening roar behind them. Looking back, they were stunned to see three tanks speeding toward them while shooting tear gas canisters, light yellow smoke filled the air.

The orderly procession of students turned into a chaotic scramble, yet the tanks did not slow down. One of them was right in the bicycle lane and plowed directly into the crowd.

Dozens of students desperately scaled the green iron fence for the sidewalk. While most of them made it over to safety, some were left clinging onto the fence for dear life. As the smoke cleared and the tanks sped away, a most horrifying scene unfolded in front of their very eyes.

A section of the fence had been smashed into the ground and bent over under the weight of a tank. Several bodies were left sprawled over it. A couple of them were so badly mangled that they were barely recognizable as human remains. Red blood mixed with white brain flowed onto the streets. In that one instant, five had died and another nine were seriously injured.

It was finally morning, the morning of June 4 and by dawn Tiananmen had been sealed off on all sides but a cordon of armored vehicles and infantry. Military helicopters clattered overhead through the clouds of thick black smoke billowing up from around the monument.

Tiananmen Square was a disastrous aftermath of a battle zone littered with destroyed tents and burning debris.

The only people remaining inside were soldiers dressed in combat camouflage.

The traditional flag-raising ceremony commenced once again. To the rousing tune of the “March of Volunteers” all the soldiers, who were the same age as the students they had just expelled, stood absolutely still, saluting the rising Five-Starred Red Flag.

The streets revealed scenes of desolation and ruin. Main thoroughfares leading toward the Square were strewn with wreckage and trash.

Bicycles lay twisted like mangled coat hangers where they had been run over by APC’s and tanks. Windows had been shot out in many apartments buildings and several hotels along the western side of Chan’an Avenue. Tattered and bloody dividers, charred wreckage and disfigured bodies littered the streets. Intersections were clogged with the hulks of burned –out cars and buses.

Whole military convoys stood in ghostlike smouldering columns, the steel cleat tracks of armored vehicles strewn about like broken parts of children’s toys.

The government claimed that 120 public buses, over 1,000 military trucks, 60 APC’s, and 30 police cars had been torched or otherwise damaged.

On one disabled tank, someone had emblazoned a swastika. On the scorched side of a bus, someone else had scrawled in blood:

“Li Peng!- You will never be in Peace!”

About 10:00 a large crowd gathered to taunt and shout at soldiers positioned at the east entrance to the Square. “Don’t shoot! You are one of us! You are one of the People, not a tool of the government!” Then growing bolder the crowd began inching forward into the no-man’s zone that divided them from the troops and scores of tanks and APC’s. Without warning the soldier’s guns exploded. For one endless minute the bullets poured out. The soldiers seemed to have no idea if they were shooting to kill or simply to frighten.

Troops crouched and continued firing, killing and wounding scores. Then several APC’s opened up with their machine guns. “They left a hundred-yard length of corpse’s, abandon bicycles, and prone terrified survivors” said a bystander.

Beijing was a madhouse of uncertainty and grief.

Families had no way of knowing whether loved ones had been killed, wounded or had gone into hiding to avoid arrest. Parents searched frantically for their children in hospitals and in makeshift morgues hastily set up amid the chaos of the night before.

A women was seen tripping through the streets with the bullet–riddled body of her child in her arms. A man standing in the street near a long convoy of military vehicles waving a broom handle with his child’s torn and blood–soaked dress affixed to the end in the faces of a group of soldiers. “ Look what you have done!” he cried out, “You have killed my daughter!”

When people turned on TV, all that was broadcasting over and over was Chinese Opera!

On collage campuses students were trying to come to grips with all that just had happened, and preparing for anticipated military occupation.

Funeral wreath at Beida

Outside Beida’s main gate hung a funeral banner reading

“A generation of Young Heroes Has Gone to an Early Death”

Trees began to fill with white funeral flowers on campuses.

An Australian journalist smuggled out of China a recording of a poem written by a Sichuanese Poet, which captured the feeling of the agony that many young students feel at that moment:

“In the name of the citizens, blow up cities!
Upon the elderly!
Upon the children!
Open fire on women!
On students! Workers! Teachers!
Blast away!
Take aim at those angry faces.
Horrified faces.
Convulsing faces.
Empty all barrels at despairing and peaceful faces.
FIRE AWAY to your hearts content!….
Do away with all beauty!
Do way with flowers! Forests!
Campuses! Love! Guitars and pure clean air!
Do away with flights of folly!
Cry cry cry cry cry cry cry cry cry cry cry cry cry cry !”

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Another Crack in the Façade of Chinese Communism

Times Square 3 June 12

Diane photographed with Wei Jingsheng & Wang Jintao

Our co-blogger Diane Gatterdam was invited to address an audience at a memorial service held yesterday (3 June 2012). It was an annual event at the Times Square in New York held in commemoration of victims who died in the June Fourth Beijing massacre 1989. Together with the candlelight vigil in Hong Kong, and various other commemoration activities worldwide, the Times Square gathering helps keep the memory of June Fourth alive.

The following is a transcript of Diane’s speech:

Thanks so much,

I am very honored to be with all of you, and to speak here tonight.

23 years ago in Beijing China, students, workers, and ordinary people heard and saw a crack in the façade of the Chinese Communist Government with the death of Hu Yaobang.  For the next 50 days these brave people stood up for their God given right to be free.

They made that crack in the façade bigger and bigger, many with their lives.

23 years later, in 2012 we see and hear that crack in the CCP’s facade again.  Louder and bigger than ever.

-We hear it in the voice of Ai Wei Wei who after 81 days in prison, and although told not to speak out, is speaking louder than ever for the freedom of the Chinese People.

-We see that crack in the Bo Xilai sandal sending the communist party into a frenzy of lies and cover-ups.  As we know this is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to uncovering party leaders corruption.

– This crack got bigger and louder with the 39 unbelievably heroic Tibetans that have self-Immolated this year.  How horrible life must be to make such a powerful statement as to set oneself on fire just so the world can see the truth.

– And… we see this crack in the CCPs façade in the remarkable escape to freedom of Chen Guangcheng.  Who thought it possible a year ago, this man who has been in prison and under illegal detention for so long, would be sitting just a few miles away from us tonight?  This was a most creative and determined action, planned and thought out with a bit of luck showing the human spirit can do anything.  Anything is possible.

 In this year 2012, as China prepares for the transition in leadership, the cracks sound louder and are bigger than ever.

Once again the people inside China have a huge opportunity to widen those cracks and put an end to them, once and for all.

To stand side by side with Chen Guangcheng, Ai Wei Wei, Liu Xiaobo and so many others to say- ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!  We demand our rights,

We demand to elect our government officials

We demand to have rule of Law

We demand to have freedom of speech

This is our right!



To honor those who in 1989 took that jump into those cracks, took that chance, took that moment.

And for us supporters it’s time to all come together, think out of the box, to try new ideas, be completely creative, Take a huge chance!   Nothing is impossible.  Nothing.

For me I will be doing all I can to support the Chinese People and stand with all of you in tearing down that cracked facade and building a new path to a free China.

Thank You

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23 Year Remembrance of Tiananmen Square – June 3nd 1989, Beijing China

Written by Diane Gatterdam


(This post covers June 3rd 1989 from early morning-3:00 AM to Midnight)

Twenty-three years ago on this day Saturday June 3nd 1989, early morning at 3:00 am students on bicycles started streaming into the square from all directions.



By daybreak, hundreds and thousands of people gathered in the Square to protest and defend it. They were very angry. They said that the soldiers in the streets looked lost and when asked why they wanted to go into Tiananmen Square, they didn’t seem to know.

2 million people took to the streets to try to stop their advance.


By 12:00 noon the soldiers had finally fought their way out of the city proper leaving a lot of weapons behind them. When van doors were broken open people to their surprise found them filled with weapons.



As Shen Tong watched CNN with a French journalists in his hotel, they heard that the army had left abandoned trucks that were loaded with weapons including butcher knives, chains and clubs. The news reports showed tear gas being used near the Square.


Shen got in a taxi with the reporter from “Paris Match” to get to the Square. As they got out of the taxi they saw crowds of people running in the streets, with blood on their faces and fumes rising from the street.


He went to his parents’ house which was not far from the Square. When he got there a neighbor told him that as she was standing Liubukou Street the police charged the crowd, and she saw a tear gas canister explode and blow off a small boy’s legs.

Li Lu’s eye-wittiness account:

“We felt able to control what was happening in the Square but not take the full weight of responsibly of the city. We told the people to let he soldiers leave the city unhindered, and we sent teams of student to collect some of the abandoned weapons.

Soon they came back with the surprising report that none of the weapons were functional. Some of the guns had rusted barrels; most of had had their firing pins removed. This worried me even more; it could only be part of a deliberate plot, a set- up. I quickly decided to turn the weapons over to the police department and make sure to get a signed receipt.


At 2:00 pm to the west of the Square in front of Zhangnanhai, another bloody incident occurred. Students were picketing in front of the gate, when all of a sudden the gate opened and three hundred of the special police who guard the leaders rushed out and beat the students and through tear gas at them.



Students could be heard saying, “The people love the Peoples Police, and the Police love the people.” One policeman dragged a student screaming, ”Fuck you, we don’t love you,” and kicked him to the ground and beat him with his baton.


Similar incidents began to happen around the Square. More and more wounded people were carried into the student headquarters.


We felt the final showdown had come! Chai Ling, Feng Congde, and I decided to hold a press conference. We reported the troop movement of the night before, described the beatings at Zhangnanhai, and showed the police report for the weapons we had turned in.




I predicted that something serious would happen tonight, and requested that all journalists present pay attention and be ready to record the events for posterity.”


At 7:00 pm Shen Tong walked back toward the Square. On his way he saw one of the student marshals racing toward the Square, blood and sweat running down his forehead. Then he ran into a friend who described what he had just seen.


“The troops are coming from the northeast corner of the Second Ring Road and already at Muxidi. They are firing real bullets and the people are burning trucks” he said hardly taking a breath between sentences. “I just came from Muxidi. One of the students I was with died, I am covered with his blood! I’ve got to run to the Square and warn the others.”


All day warnings were coming nonstop on the television, radio and loudspeakers kept repeating.


“Citizens of Beijing, stay in your homes tonight. Students return to your colleges. The army is going to clear out Tiananmen Square tonight. Citizens of Beijing, stay in your homes….”

By 8:00 pm the warnings had become even direr:

“You will fail,” came another warning, “You are not behaving in the correct Chinese manner, this is not the West, you should behave like good Chinese, go home and save your life’s”


But instead, the citizens of Beijing, worried about the students in the Square. They came out of their homes and about 300,000 of them gathered around the Square, everyone watching to see what would happen next.


“On the night of June 3rd, I gave my last speech at Beijing Normal University. Before more than 20,000 people I said:

“Today, every Chinese faces a choice. Chinese history is about to turn a new page. Tiananmen Square is ours, the people, and we will not allow butchers to tread on it. We will defend Tiananmen Square, defend the students in the square, and defend the future of China.” We asked them to sing the “Anti-Japanese March” – our national anthem since 1949 which includes the lines, “The Chinese people have reached their most critical moment. Everyone must join the final rally. Arise! Arise!”


– Wuer Kaixi, 1989 Student Leader from Beijing Normal University

Like so many others Wu’er who had only days before advocated quitting the Square now returned to the Square to rejoin his colleagues.

Around 9:00 pm, a student rushed to the student headquarters, his shirt soaked with blood, crying over and over, “Just a baby 3 years old …” When he finally stopped crying, he spoke over the loudspeaker:


“My fellow students, People of Beijing, don’t trust the government any more. Don’t trust the army. Just now on the West Square the soldier’s hit whoever went past them including old people and children. An old man was injured. The soldiers wouldn’t even let his grandson go. I ran over and grabbed hold of the child, but a soldier hit him with a brick and he died in my arms. We must take revenge, we must take revenge.”

Li Lu held back his grief and took the microphone issuing the last emergency order of the headquarters:

“Today is June 3rd 1989. History will call this a day of national humiliation. We will remember this day forever. The government has once and for all torn off the veil covering its ferocious face.

They are sending in thousands of armed troops to suppress us, us who have no weapons.

We say down with the Li Peng’s Government and its atrocious rule!

We call on all people to strike. We call upon the students to return to Tiananmen Square where we will continue to raise the banner of justice overcoming evil. We appeal to all officers and soldiers who love their country to stand up to the atrocious rule. You must not shoot the people! We appeal to people everywhere to assist the just struggle of the students. The people will ultimately triumph. Truth will ultimately win.





The Flying Tigers began bring back reports that soldiers equipped with automatic weapons and backed up by armored vehicles were moving into the city center from all directions, all at once. It was estimated that 3 million people were now in the streets of Beijing.



With the army closing in, the student leaders decided to move all the students who had been hunger strikers out of tents and on to the steps of the monument, where they could all sit-in together. There were about 5000 that had been there since May 13th and many suffered from exhaustion and could barely move.


To those 5000 Chai Ling repeated through a loudspeaker, “Be peaceful, don’t swear back, don’t hit back, we must welcome the butchers knife with the most peaceful means…..”

About 10:00 pm another group of people burst into the headquarters tent, their clothes smeared with blood, their eyes wide open and stunned. Their hands trembled. One man stared in to the distance as if looking at some terrible image. Finally he told his story.

“At about 8:00 pm in the evening at the intersection of Muxudi and Gongshuzen, I saw the army start to march toward the square. People tried to stop them with their bodies only this time the soldiers, followed by tanks, pushed their way forward, bayonets raised.

A girl student from Beijing Normal University went up to the soldiers and said,

“The students aren’t rioters but patriots. We want to do good for our country.”

A soldier thrust his bayonet into her chest, and she fell down dead. The enraged people ran over to her, but the tanks kept coming, and opened fired.


Everywhere people were falling. At first we thought they must be using plastic bullets. We desperately tried to get our fallen comrades to stand up, but blood was running everywhere. Still people could not believe that the Peoples Government could have shot its own people. The tanks never stopped and ran over bodies. People cried and shouted, throwing stones but to no avail.”



The student leaders were all in tears.

At the workers’ tents Han Dongfang divided his workers into 5 contingents and dispersed them to key intersections along Chang’an Boulevard. He continued to counsel everyone on nonviolence. With troops pressing closer to Tiananmen Square and the reports of casualties mounting, several workers prepared for a show of armed resistance, no matter how pitiful by making weapons out of chair legs and siphoned off gasoline in soda bottles as Molotov cocktails.

They swore a final oath: “For democracy, for freedom, we are prepared to sacrifice until the last drop of blood is shed and fight till the last person falls.”

As troops forced their way toward the Square the violence escalated. Old men and woman, young girls and boys were brutally run over. Others who kneeled down in front of individual soldiers, pleading for mercy, were machine-gunned down.

People burned everything they could find to try to stop the troops, they even started fires on top of the tanks.



Troops raked the crowds with stun grenades, automatic weapons and armor piercing bullets. Men and Women in the apartments were slaughtered by the random and uncontrolled gunfire.


At 11:00 pm Shen Tong again left his parents’ house and headed for the Square. On Chang’an Avenue, people were dousing the abandoned army trucks with gasoline and setting them on fire.

“I wanted to get a group of students together to try to persuade people to go back to their homes because troops were only a few blocks away.


While I was standing on Chang’an Avenue my uncles found me and tried to drag me home. By now there were dead and wounded people all over the sidewalks and under the trees and the alleys off the avenue could no longer hold all of the wounded.


I followed a young man near me who took the bloody shirt off a corpse and walked toward a personnel carrier to show what their comrades had done. By the time we got up to the truck, a middle aged woman and a young girl were with us.

The woman said,” You soldiers, how can you do this?” she said.

What regiment are you from I ask? They didn’t answer.

Do you know where you are? I asked.

Do you know you are in Beijing? They didn’t answer.

Do you know you are on Chang’an Avenue, do you know the history of Chang’an Avenue? In 1949 The Peoples Liberation Army liberated the city from the Guomindang, no shots were fired on Chang’an Avenue. You are the Peoples Liberation Army and you are shooting your own people!

I was talking nonstop, desperately trying to get them to understand. The young man held up the bloody shirt and cried, but no words out of their open mouths.

An officer got up, took out his pistol, and pointed it at me.

I was still talking and didn’t pay attention to what he was doing, but one of my uncles came up and grabbed me and said “ Come on Yuan Yuan, lets go home.”

All of a sudden someone pulled me backward.

Then a shot rang out, and everyone started screaming. I turned around to see the girl who had been standing next to me falling straight back to the ground.

I hadn’t even noticed her standing there, and now her face was completely gone, there was nothing but a bloody hole…”


12:00 Midnight:



Tanks now entered Tiananmen Square in Beijing…

In the “People’s” Republic Of China, THE PEOPLE WERE NOW THE ENEMY…


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