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Chinese Government Pushing All Lives Matter on Anniversary of Tiananmen

A Chinese man stands alone to block a line of tanks heading east on Beijing's Cangan Blvd. in Tiananmen Square on June 5, 1989. The man, calling for an end to the recent violence and bloodshed against pro-democracy demonstrators, was pulled away by bystanders, and the tanks continued on their way. The Chinese government crushed a student-led demonstration for democratic reform and against government corruption, killing hundreds, or perhaps thousands of demonstrators in the strongest anti-government protest since the 1949 revolution. Ironically, the name Tiananmen means "Gate of Heavenly Peace". (AP Photo/Jeff Widener)

Thirty-one years ago today, The Chinese Communist Government decided that the protests in “天安门广场” — Tiananmen Square, named for the “Gate of Heavenly Peace” on the north side of the square — had gone on too long, that the “’89 Democracy Movement” could no longer be tolerated, and sent thousands of protesters and bystanders through the Gate of Heavenly Peace with guns and tanks, while arresting thousands of others throughout the country.

Afterward, the phrase “tiananmen” was censored, books and magazines were seized, and discussion was so repressed that many younger Chinese don’t even know something happened, and those who dare to speak of it at all simply say “The six-four incident (六四事件)” or just “8964” (八九六四).

The “Tank Man” At Tiananmen

The “Tank Man” — no one knows his name, or what happened to him, even today — is one of the most famous images in the world, but another image from the “June 4 Incident” always struck me as well. It was a picture of the improvised Statue of Liberty that the protesters erected in Tiananmen Square.

Students work to finish a styrofoam “Goddess of Democracy”, modelled on the Statue of Liberty, in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, on May 30, 1989. The statue is nearly 30 feet tall. (AP Photo/Jeff Widener)

Listen to Yang Jianli, a survivor of the “June 4 Incident”:

The Chinese Government Wants Us to Forget Tiananmen

Today, we’re hearing from China, but not about Tiananmen Square. Here’s the spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry today:

Forget for the moment that saying, “All lives matter” in the U.S. can get you fired. Here’s the spokesperson for the Communist Party, er, People’s Republic of China, on the anniversary of the massacre of thousands by their government, posting that all lives matter.

Well, I say, “Temember Tiananmen Square! Remember the June 4th incident! Remember 8964!”

And don’t think it’s been forgotten.

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