> 20 Years Ago...

Hey all, apologies for the lack of updates in the past few weeks. Should be back on track with more updates soon.

20 years ago today, June 4th 1989, the People's Liberation Army used tanks to clear Tienanmen Square of the protesters that had been there for seven weeks, demanding social and economic changes. It was a slaughter - by many accounts at the time thousands of civilians were killed (estimates vary - the official Chinese government's total is 241).

Since then, the Chinese government has done their best to erase or downplay the incident. Many people in China today consider the protests a mistake: those protesters were wrong for trying to break the unity, China do not want Democracy. They've been so indoctrinated by Communism that they actually think the protesters were just a bunch of misguided troublemakers, not people who sacrificed their very lives to try and help their people and country.

It just kills me to think that all those people died for nothing. I suppose it wasn't for all nothing however, because even if they aren't talking about it in China, the rest of the world certainly has been talking about it ever since.

A couple of days ago, the famous Great Firewall of China blocked many social media websites, such as Twitter, Flickr, and Hotmail, in anticipation of the anniversary. Many regional Chinese websites are now "under maintenance", which may or may not be a sort of silent protest.

The Tienanmen Square protests showed the world that many people in China are not happy with their authoritarian government. Perhaps someday they will have freedom, instead of living under a government that is so afraid of it's own people knowing the truth that they have to try and erase it from history.

June 4, 1989

Edit: This excellent documentary was linked on Reddit. Full playlist here.

The Tank Man (1/8)

Edit 2: As you can imagine, this put a huge smile on my face... Seems that in Hong Kong, the only place in China people are free to protest and demonstrate, they had a candlelight vigil commemorating the Tienanmen Square massacre. Astonishingly, over 150,000 people came out! Absolutely beautiful.

HK June 4th Candlelight Vigil 2009