Monday, June 04, 2007

In Tiananmen Square - Lost my baby there

By Libby

Gateway Pundit reminds us that it was 18 years ago today that hundreds of peaceful protesters were mercilessly mowed down in Tiananmen Square. I rarely remember the date but I'll never forget sitting transfixed in horror, watching the tanks roll into the beautiful square and inflict such hideous mayhem on their own people.

I think no one memorialized it better than Roger Waters did with "Watching TV."

She wore a white bandanna that said
Freedom now
She thought the Great Wall of China
Would come tumbling down
She was a student
Her father was an engineer
Won't you shed a tear
For my yellow rose
My yellow rose
In her bloodstained clothes

It's a really long song that I've listened to a thousand times but that verse never fails to bring a tear to my eye. A sad event but those hundreds who died have inspired legions of activists, including me, to keep on fighting for justice. May their bravery and sacrifice for freedom never be forgotten.

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Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

I remember rage at watching peaceful bystanders being gassed and clubbed and in one case being thrown from an overpass in Chicago in 1968. I remember people being arrested for no cause whatever. That "it can't happen here" feeling was gone forever.

I remember people assuring themselves that the Tienanmen massacre couldn't happen here - we're not Communists after all. Whether it can or can't, we're not likely to be camping out in the streets demanding what's been stolen from us. Perhaps we prefer security, perhaps we're too used to self congratulation to notice we have little to congratulate ourselves about.

It will be another long march to freedom in China and it may be only a limited freedom, but we're not marching. No one seems willing to make a stand, to risk going out with a bang - all I hear is whimpering.

9:42:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I remember the rage in the 60s too Fogg. Not just Chicago, but Kent State and the violence against civil rights protesters in the south. I don't know that I ever had a sense it couldn't happen here but by the time Tiananmen Sqare happened, my rage had subsided somewhat. That reignited it.

2:57:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

I went there, some years later, in a cool and windy October and the enormity of the event had long been swallowed by the enormousness of that square and the vastness of that country and the quiet acceptance of one more sad little horror.

People I know there didn't seem to think much or often about it, but they'll still point out the vandalism done by European troops in 1900 and they're still irate about the opium wars of the 1840's.

A couple of days later I was shown the most popular place to jump off a cliff during the Cultural Revolution. My friend pointed it out with a smile.

Mao's blank face still hangs over the vermilion gate of heavenly peace where he proclaimed the Peoples Republic some 58 years ago and The Forbidden City isn't forbidden any more if you buy a ticket.

There were thousands and thousands of people there for the national holiday. The Tian'An Dong subway station on Chan'An avenue at the corner of the square was packed with families with children in clean, bright jump-suits. People were flying elaborate dragon kites, children were playing games, everyone was talking on cell phones. It still felt empty.

3:56:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

It sounds so beautiful Fogg, but sad.

7:04:00 PM  

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