June 4th, 2006 marks the 17th anniversary of the Massacre at Tiananmen Square. Students and intellectuals held demonstrations at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on June 4th, 1989, protesting (and rightly so) that the Communist Party of China (CPC) was too corrupt and repressive. The Chinese government reported only 23 civilians casualties, although local hospitals reported an initial casualty number of 2000. The Chinese Red Cross estimated civillian deaths at 2600. Injuries from the massacre range between 7,000 - 10,000. From Wikipedia:
Following the violence, the government conducted widespread arrests to suppress the remaining supporters of the movement, banned the foreign press and strictly controlled coverage of the events in the Chinese press. The violent suppression of the Tiananmen Square protest caused widespread international condemnation of the PRC government.Sadly, even today the Chinese government falls just short of completely denying that this incident ever occurred. Public commemorations and observances of the incident are forbidden everywhere in China, except for in Hong Kong. Despite the rain, tens of thousands of pro-democracy supporters held a candlelight vigil covering four soccer fields. I took a screenshot of today's homepage of the People's Daily, the main government-run newspaper agency. You will notice that there is no mention of Tiananmen Square whatsoever. (To view the screenshot, please click the "Click here to post comments" link below). From Yahoo! News:
After dawn, a group of tourists tried to open a banner while posing for a photo, catching the attention of police, who quickly forced them to put the nonpolitical material away.What will the future hold? Looking at the current track record, more of the same repressive, anti-democratic attitudes demonstrated by the CPC. Keep in mind that these were tourists in a public place, posing to take a picture while holding a nonpolitical banner. Oh the danger they pose to the stability of the CPC, which have been in power of China since 1949 - that's 57 straight years. Well I don't care much for the CPC or its stability, fiat justitia, ruat caelum.