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!
NOW IS THE TIME!
THIS YEAR, THIS MOMENT. RIGHT NOW.
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.