Thursday, June 4, 2009

remembering Tiananmen...

June 4, 1989 ...I was 21 and just coming into my own ...just moving out of my parents' home, just taking on my own ideas about politics, religion, war, life, love and everything... since I was young, every time I had uttered even the slightest criticism of the USA, my parents would tell me to "go live in Russia," and I still remember having to crouch down under my desk or go hide in the basement of my grade school as a drill to prepare for a Russian atomic missile strike (like that would have saved us in any way)... now, in the summer of 1989, the Soviet Union was collapsing, Poland's Solidarity movement was challenging Communist rule and winning 99% of the vote in semi-free elections, the Berlin Wall was soon to fall, it seemed only inevitable that the peaceful pro-democracy movement in Tiananmen Square would mean an end to Communist totalitarian rule in China. I remember watching the students live on all the TV screens at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where I had just declared my major as art (against my parents' wishes) and I felt a real solidarity with these rebellious freedom lovers...

...then the tanks rolled in, the guns were fired across the square... hundreds, perhaps even thousands, were murdered...

...lots of excellent articles in the New York Times today, especially by Nicholas D. Kristof who personally witnessed the massacre:

Bullets Over Beijing

Remembering the Tiananmen Protests

On the Ground

China Floods Tiananmen Square With Police to Bar Protests
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