No More Tiananmen Square ‘Incidents’
The CCP can count on Online Vigilantes and the Internet to stop it.
Published in Medium – 04 June 2019.
The name Tiananmen square, for the majority of Chinese people today, is probably only synonym with one of the top tourist attractions in the capital Beijing. A must-see location where to snap a selfie or a picture of their smiling kids with the background of either the famous portrait of Chairman Mao hanging at the entrance of the Heavenly Gate (at the north side of the square) or the leader’s imposing Mausoleum (in the south side).
Despite the often-long queues at the heavily guarded access points, for the average Chinese tourist a visit to the square is always worth it, a priceless Kodak moment to share with family members and friends on social media.
Millions of other people however, especially outside China, on hearing the name would probably have a different reaction.
For those who were either in Beijing between May and June 1989, or simply glued on TV screens around the world watching the events unfolding in China during those chaotic weeks, the name Tiananmen Square immediately evoke a different set of images that have become iconic in the thirty years that have passed since the Chinese government put an end to a series of student protests at the capital’s most famous square and all around the country.
What took place in the square in the night between 3 and 4 June was a violent military clampdown that ultimately cost the lives of thousands of young protesters.
The image and the video of a line of armoured tanks advancing menacing on one of Beijing’s main thoroughfares being stopped by a single man holding what appeared to be a couple of shopping bags have become not only one of the most epoch-defining moments of the past century and a shared collective memory for millions of people, but also an immediate recognizable indictment of the madness of totalitarian power.