Tiananmen Square at 16 Years

Massacre in the Square…

Remembering Tiananmen Square
June 4, 1989

In November of last year, Chen Gang was released from prison in China after 15 years of incarceration.

A factory worker who helped to organize a strike during China’s 1989 pro-democracy protests has been released after nearly 15 years in prison, a U.S.-based prison rights group said Saturday.

Chen Gang (search) reportedly was convicted of “hooliganism” and sentenced to life in prison following the violent crackdown that ended the 1989 protests centered on Tiananmen Square (search) in central Beijing, the Dui Hua (search) Foundation said.

China today kept a close watch on dissidents and family members on this anniversary date:

Relatives of the hundreds if not thousands of people who died on June 4, 1989 were monitored closely on Saturday after being warned against any activities to remember the day when troops ploughed through unarmed citizens to end six weeks of unprecedented democracy protests.

“The police are at the foot of my building,” said Ding Zilin, head of the Mothers of Tiananmen group which has been fighting since 1989 for those responsible for the crackdown to be held to account.

Thousands protest in Hong Kong

Thousands show up for a candle light vigil in Hong Kong today in commemoration of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Hong Kong held the only commemoration ceremony in China of the event.

Tens of thousands of people held a candlelight vigil in Hong Kong on the 16th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, the only commemoration on Chinese soil to mark the 1989 crackdown.

Organisers estimated 45,000 people attended the annual event in the territory’s downtown Victoria Park on Saturday to demand that Beijing acknowledge the June 4, 1989 assault that left hundreds, perhaps thousands, dead.

“Vindicate June 4th!” protesters shouted. “Learn from history! End one-party dictatorship!”

Chung Kan-shu, 45, said he has attended the event every year.

“I’ve witnessed what happened on TV, how can I forget? China still hasn’t opened up. I am disappointed,” said the civil servant, accompanied by his family.

“What happened was unforgettable. It was wrong to kill the students who only protested peacefully. You don’t shoot your own people like they were your enemies,” said another protester, Poon Hoi, 61.


A student holds a soldier’s helmut on June 4, 1989 in Tiananmen Square in China. Tight security blanketed China’s capital on June 4, 2005, the 16th anniversary of the bloody end to the Tiananmen Square democracy movement, with the leadership fearful of any protest that could threaten its grip on power.

Tibetans in India held a protest to show solidarity with the Chinese youth:

“This is to remember their life sacrifice and we are sending our solidarity with the youth of China. Today here the Tibetan youth remember their sacrifice and stand with them for truth and justice. We know just as the Chinese people. We are ourselves today a colony of China and we are ourselves looking for freedom and democracy,”

The US is finding with China, that so far, with the economic progress in China the human rights progress has not followed as closely as the US would like:

“The 16th Tiananmen anniversary is a grim reminder to the US administration that China is not going to get democratic by itself and has a totalitarian dictatorship with a rapidly expanding and rapidly modernizing military force,” said John Tkacik, a China specialist at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Until recently, he said, there was a sense within the Bush administration and in previous administrations that China would gradually embrace democratic reforms on the back of rapid economic growth and prosperity.

Oh, and spiderman made an appearance to protest Tiananmen Square on Friday in Hong Kong.

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