Thirty years ago today the government of the People’s Republic of China sent in the Soldiers from the People’s Liberation Army to liberate the lives out of the protestors in Tiananmen Square in what is described as the massacre that ended the six weeks and six days of protests. Tomorrow, the 5th of June, will mark the thirty year anniversary of the iconic images of Tank Man, the Chinese citizen, holding a shopping bag in each hand, who braved a column of tanks trying to roll to and through Tiananmen Square.
The BBC has done an excellent job in its coverage of the anniversaries of these events. I’d like to highlight two different videos they’ve done. The first focuses on Wang Zhixin, one of the leaders of the student protests in Tiananmen Square as he returns there for the first time in thirty years.
30 years ago, Wang Zhixin helped lead a student protest that ended in violent bloodshed when the Chinese government sent tanks and soldiers into Tiananmen Square
He’s never been back – until now[Tap to expand] https://t.co/V9g8I8bm1d pic.twitter.com/hNknTZlOtA
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) June 4, 2019
The second focuses on the coercive power of states, especially single party, authoritarian states, to leverage information and the control over it to propagandize, indoctrinate, and/or intimidate its own citizenry.
Tiananmen's tank man:
Has China been successful in erasing memory of this iconic image?[Tap to expand] https://t.co/B3qLCH3Aj5 pic.twitter.com/ANLziKIfw2
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) June 3, 2019
I’ll end with the iconic video showing images of true resistance and real bravery. Video of Tank Man, which had to be smuggled out of China. Tank Man’s actual name is Wang Weilin. He was a 19 year old student when he stood down the column of tanks. His whereabouts and ultimate fate have been unknown for thirty years!