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  • Writer's pictureXiaodong Fang

A Call to Remember: 35 Years Since Tiananmen Square Massacre

The Tiananmen Square Massacre serves as a stark reminder of the sacrifices made in the pursuit of these ideals and the ongoing struggle against oppression. As we observe the 35th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 2024, it is crucial to reflect on its enduring legacy.

Photo by Mike Labrum from Unsplash

The Chinese government has continued to prioritize stability and economic growth over political reform, maintaining tight control over information and dissent. As we light candles and reflect on the events of June 4, 1989, let us renew our commitment to the principles of democracy and human rights. The Tiananmen Square Massacre must never be forgotten, and its lessons must continue to inspire and guide us in our ongoing quest for a just and equitable world.

The Crackdown in 1989

In the early hours of June 4, 1989, the Chinese government declared martial law and deployed troops and tanks to clear Tiananmen Square. What followed was a brutal and indiscriminate crackdown. Soldiers opened fire on unarmed protesters, and tanks rolled over barricades and makeshift shelters. The exact number of casualties remains unknown, with estimates ranging from several hundred to several thousand. The Chinese government has never released an official death toll.

The massacre sent shockwaves around the globe, drawing widespread condemnation from governments, human rights organizations, and the general public. Iconic images of the violence, such as the lone "Tank Man" standing defiantly in front of a column of tanks, became symbols of resistance and the human spirit's yearning for freedom.

The Endless Call for Freedom

In the aftermath of the massacre, the Chinese government sought to erase all memory of the event. State-controlled media ceased coverage, and a strict censorship regime was implemented to prevent any discussion or commemoration of the protests. Many protest leaders were arrested, imprisoned, or forced into exile, while families of the victims faced harassment and intimidation.

Despite the brutal reactions of the Chinese government, the memory of Tiananmen has endured. Each year, commemorations take place around the world, particularly in Hong Kong, where tens of thousands gather in Victoria Park for a candlelight vigil. These acts of remembrance are a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the unrelenting quest for justice and accountability.

The world today is vastly different from that of 1989, yet the fundamental issues of freedom, justice, and human dignity remain as pertinent as ever. The spirit of Tiananmen lives on in the hearts of those who continue to fight for human rights and democracy, both within China and across the globe.

We Still Remember in 2024

In commemorating this somber anniversary, we honor the memory of those who lost their lives and the courage of those who stood against tyranny. It is a call to action for all of us to remain vigilant in the face of injustice and to continue advocating for a world where every individual can live freely and with dignity.

Also, let us reaffirm our dedication to the principles of democracy and human rights. The Tiananmen Square Massacre must remain in our collective memory, and its lessons should continually inspire and steer us in our enduring pursuit of a just, equitable, and democratic new China in the near future.


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