Daily VideoJune 5, 2014
25 years later, Tiananmen Square massacre remains unspoken tragedy in China
This week marks 25 years since the Chinese government staged a bloody dispersal of pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, killing hundreds, if not thousands, of people. This massacre was covered by media around the world, but was largely unreported within China. Harsh Chinese censorship laws mean many citizens there still do not know about the massacre, and the bloody anniversary was met with little reaction within China.
In 1989, unarmed students took to Tiananmen Square to call for government accountability, freedom of press and other pro-democracy causes. They were met by China’s People’s Liberation Army, which shot automatic gunfire into the crowd.
China’s Communist has tried to airbrush this history, turning Tiananmen Square into the center of the world’s largest consumer market.
China’s one-party state still sees the scandal of corruption as a threat, despite having a tight hold on its citizens. On the day of the anniversary, police blocked cemeteries where the Tiananmen dead lie. China’s Internet censors block access to information about the event on the web.
“We have to go through what happened in the square, like what happened in the Soviet Union, like the Arab spring,” said Chinese dissident Hu Jia, who witnessed the massacre when he was a teenager. “The Communist Party is really worried. They have arrested a lot of people and they are under an incredible amount of pressure.”
Close to 100,000 people from mainland China attended a vigil in Hong Kong, a special autonomous city-state within China that has its own set of laws, to remember the victims. This is one of the only public remembrances in China, which 25 years later, still has not officially inquired into the events of that day.
Warm up questions
- Where is China?
- In the United States, the First Amendment gives us the right to freedom of speech. How do you think that comes into play during protests?
- What do you think were the reasons behind the students’ protests at Tiananmen?
- Why do you think the Chinese government tries to minimize and control the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre? Explain your answer. What methods do they use to control it?
Although peaceful protests sound, well, peaceful, they is often met with violence. The man sometime referred to as “Tank Man” stood in front of an approaching column of tanks to protest the lack of democracy in China. No one knows what his fate was; all that is left is the powerful video footage. Is there any cause or anyone in this world that you would risk your life for? Explain your answer either way.
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
There is a growing movement among young conservatives, including evangelical Christians, who support environmental regulations. They say it’s important to act as faithful stewards of the earth. One group, the Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, has grown to 10,000 members in the past five years. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
School districts around the country are debating whether or not to require seat belts on school buses. Requiring seat belts comes at a high cost for school districts already struggling with tight budgets. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Since the firing of FBI Director James Comey earlier this week, the White House has contradicted itself several times as to the reasoning behind President Donald Trump’s decision. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
In a surprising move, President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday after receiving recommendations from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper addressed a Senate hearing on Monday over the investigation into the Trump administration’s relationship with Russia and the warnings the White House received about Gen. Michael Flynn. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld