Remembering June 4th, 1989

By | June 4, 2009

It’s a sad day for many in the Chinese speaking world, whether they are in China or in the Chinese diaspora. June 4th, 1989: the day when the Chinese government, for reasons of its own, simply and brutally curtailed the desire for expression of thousands of workers, students, and citizens of the People’s Republic of China.


Though I am powerless to change the minds of the those who made those fateful decisions on that day in history, or even of those who’ve upheld those who took part in the evil that occurred on that day. I, and millions in the free parts of the world, join in remembering those who died for the simple desire to express their own vision in public about what kind of society they would like to see.

I will remember you. I will.

To those of you who say: “But that took place in China, we’re not Chinese.” (That is an ignorant comment I heard today). It doesn’t matter you’re not Chinese. I’m not. It matters that these were human beings who were killed illegally, ruthlessly by their own government, a government that they themselves supported. What is worse: most of China is kept in ignorance of these facts. Only when people leave, do they find out what went on, how it took part in a period of change in the communist world, and that other countries transitioned without bloodshed.

So my act of remembrance is another pin prick in the skin of this huge elephant. Who knows? If everyone sticks a pin in the skin of the Chinese Communist Party, perhaps the elephant will begin to notice. But I’m not holding my breath. There are just too many individuals at the highest levels who were involved in the goings-on at that time, and they have vested interests in keeping the party line.

But the next generation of leaders will arise, perhaps even some of them will have taken part in the protests. They might have a different idea about things: it’s happened before in China, but it takes time.

In the meantime, I join with you in remembering those unnamed victims who died at the hands of ruthless military action.