Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Tianamen Square Massacre - 24 Years later

This was the first Tianamen Square Massacre commemoration I attended.  The size of the commemoration certainly wasn't as big as the one held in Hong Kong, but there were several moving moments in the 2-hour event.  

When I arrived at Liberty Square shortly after 7pm, there were always a few hundred people there.  An introduction of the Tianamen Square Massacre and the student protest leading up to the massacre was being shown on the big screens on each side of the stage.  After a brief greeting from the host, former Public Television Service Foundation president and chief executive Sylvia Feng (馮賢賢), the organizer showed a clip from the documentary "The Tank Man".  Then, Chinese dissident and one of the student leaders, Wang Dan (王丹) gave a moving and hopeful speech on the extent to which his hope for justice for those who perished during the massacre is still alive.  

Perhaps one of the most moving moment was when a clip from the documentary,Tiananmen Mothers (天安門母親) was shown.  Some of the mothers were prevented from visiting the grave sites of their deceased children this year.  As their quest for justice continues, it was obvious that the constant anguish and stress from their endeavor had taken a toll on these women.  Yet, they continued and vowed they would never stop until justice is done.  

Both Chen Guang-cheng (陳光誠) and Hu Jia (胡佳) made appearances at the event.  Chen Guang-cheng said he looks forward to visit Taiwan and to exchange ideas and views on democracy with the Taiwanese.  Hu Jia had a message for President Ma Ying-jeou - Taiwan will only retain respect if human rights is valued and safe guarded.  Hu Jia also told the audience about his friend, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Liu Xiaobo and his wife and urged the Taiwanese to also help advocate for Liu's release.  After Hu made his plead, the participants of the commemoration put on masks of Liu Xiaobo's face provided by the organizer in a demonstration of solidarity for the Chinese government to free the human rights advocate. 

There were also several booths set up in the back of the commemoration.  The Youth Alliance against Media Monopoly was there, selling Human Rights Sausages and drinks.  The Students for Free Tibet was also there, and so was the iSun Affair magazine, which the owner was brutally attacked by baton wielding men only a few nights ago.

I met quite a few friends and students at the commemoration.  The message I took from the commemoration was quite positive, but it also made me realize the road to democracy and human rights is still very long for China.  

1 comment:

Joshua Dent said...

Cool pictures. I live in Taiwan also. I wish I would have known about this.