China: June 4th:Silence, Memorial and Blogger's Saying

Today it's June 4th, the 17th anniversary of Tiananmen Square Massacre, which marked the end of student democracy movement in Beijing and nationwide lasting from March to June, 1989. The communist party of China still did not recognize this mass incident as peaceful protest of students, who used demonstration and hunger strike to demand democracy and removal of corrupted officials.

Under the party propaganda policies, no commemoration of the movement was allowed in public places and the newspapers and TV networks passed the day wthout any even implied mention of it. Like the popular columnist and blogger Lianyue once has wrote when Google has entered Chinese market:”We(Google) guarantee: The day after Jun3th must be Jun5th”, the state-controlled media have just pretended that the event never happened 17 years ago, identical with the official history book's negligible claim of the movement as “a political incident in the spring and summer of 1989″.

Silence did not only existed in the media outlets but also on Internet. The major websites are mute as much as their mainstream media counterparts. While many foreign media will run their stories of civil right groups, dissidents sayings and request of groups like Tiananmen Mother, who demand compensation and recognition of people who sacrifice their lives in the event, a basic embarrassing fact is that the government will tighten the control of information online and offline, with blocking access  to witnesses and elevation of Internet blocking alike.

Even Google, who compromise to offered its Chinese search engine services in censored and uncensored version simultaneously are no exception from the powerful censor. Many areas in mainland China have reported failures to connect to Google in the past few days, while the censored and China-hosted is still available. Andrew Lih has blogged a stories about it.  Shizhao also warned that people be careful using Google Desktop, since the application robots will crawl sensitive news from websites like BBC, causing the Great Firewall to trigger off.

Fortunately, the decentralized nature of Internet means such content can't be removed and ignored entirely. Andrea of T-Salon remind us that the tag “8964” is once again active, aggregating reflections and thoughts from the Internet,especially the blogosphere. The scanning copy of Hong Kong newspaper in June 4th 1989 can be found on Flickr and video on YouTube. It's like what XiaoQiang of China Digital Times, a participant of that event told in a recent interview that “Internet Keeps Tiananmen Spirit Alive”

Keepwalking shot photos of Tiananmen Square and post it on his blog titled “Picture without Words: Today, Square”: peaceful and crowded, not with anguish students but the cheerful and curious tourists, who may not even heard about the so-called June 4th Massacre, for many of them were born after the event and the state prohibt public discussion of the incident. Compared with the now famous image of Tank Man, who poised in front a row of armed tanks and block them to advance on the street in 1989, a true repersentatives of the spirits of the protesters, today's square is so quiet as usual as if nobody even remember, not mention to struggle for it.

Zheng, one of the earliest Chinese blogger, wrote today on his blog titled “17 Years”:

[In translation]
After the 17 years, the generation has grown up to adult.
However the ringing cry, warm blood and zealous yearning of them has not grown to be a self-organized and self-adapted environment of democracy, like the tiny seeds growing into green and vast fores
The thing needed to magnify is the voice, the continuity not the boring and faded mourning and commemoration year after year.
History won't repeat. New questions are ahead in front of us, and it's these news question that make the voice resurrect.

SideKick, a Hong Kong blogger, showed her “8964” special watch and change her blog's appearance in total black for “indirect memorandum”. In another post she edits a playlist of songs to commorate the anniversary . Every year Hong Kong will hold an unofficial memorial party to pay tribute to those who died on the street 17 years ago and HiRadio has many resources for that party.


  • d

    let it gone with the time,ok?

    why not give chinese peace happy world .!!!?close all your mouth
    our chinese people feel and enjoy so good life at now,do you want to break it?
    if you do not want it…

  • something has passed ,let it passed.
    man should look forword.And try to do the better.
    love peace.
    I believe the CHINA goverment.

  • guyetingyu

    The students who has been taught to do so by America in Tiananmen Square are foolish!So are those people who are always not able to forget this thing which is not popular in China.There are always some foreigners who make use of the foolish tragedy to attack China!As a Chinese,I have to say that you don’t have the right to say anything in the Chinese affair!We Chinese pay more attention to our harmonious life!

  • Is there an online memorial and obituaries published in the internet like

  • yes someone passed , but they still can be remembered

  • still cant see online memorial or obituary of victims posted in

  • Michelle

    Thank you Frank for speaking out. I’m not Chinese but after learning about this tragedy and the way some Chinese people either do not know about it or deny it ever happened, I had to see for myself. Some of the people that have commented surprise me. That is how foriegn this concept of covering up murder is to me. How can some of them argue that they are peaceful and harmonious when they are just ignorant? One cannot claim to have a perfect life just because you pretended the bad does not exist. How can you grow if you don’t acknowlege mistakes? How can you sleep at night knowing you are pretending all those people never died? Was their death for nothing? Please help me understand your views. I want to understand.

    Best wishes.

  • guyetingyu

    There is nothing surprised for a foreigner to understand.To any government,especially in China,anyone who is unarmed to protest the government is illegal.Government’s behavior is just to go on their administration.And that’s nothing.I have a classmate whose brother was studing in Beijing University.He and his brother all admit that if the brother didn’t go home,he would have also joined in the so-called “movement”which made a number of talents who could lead a happy life at present!The tragedy has passed.Why could many foreiners help our Chinese who are still in poverty to be out of the present condition.Our Chinese will all thank you,the dead in the tragedy included!

  • hxin

    i am a chinese university student.many of my classmates know TIANANMEN MOvement. thinking of the international conditions in 1989, we can’t say the movement has nothing to do with the foreign country.
    the most important,we are living a happy live.and the democracy has increased so much in the past years,especially in the last ten years.
    yeah,just let pass!we look forward.

  • Jason

    well,guyetingyu,I’m a chinese but I have to say you are a loyal dog of the corrupted communist party,we shall see who the winner of history will be.

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