Thursday, June 4, 2009
THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE TIANANMEN SQUARE MASSACRE
Today is the 20th anniversary of the massacre at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China in June of 1989. Mourning Hu Yaobang (pro democracy official) and seeking greater political freedom in communist China, 1 million protesters (mostly students) gathered for weeks before the Chinese government used their military to put an end to the international attention the protests were getting. The death toll is unknown but it is estimated in the thousands. NATO estimated the count to be upwards of 7,000 people. The Chinese government (who never speak of the event and have censored views other than their own) estimate 300-600 “thugs” were killed and not students. Regardless of the exact number, remember the thousands who were willing to die for the freedom we enjoy everyday.
The next day (June 5th, 1989), this man courageously put his life at risk to stop a tank and show the world (and the communist government) that the spirit of Chinese revolutionaries will not die. Shortly after this video was taken, he was dragged back into the crowd by government officials. There has been massive speculation about his fate: some believe he was executed immediately, some believe he was executed via firing squad months later and still others say he is alive and in hiding in China to this day.