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Sunday, June 04, 2006 

Seventeenth Anniversary of June Fourth

Frontpage of Wen Hui Pao (in Chinese) from seventeen years ago. Image courtesy of [email protected].

Reuters: China's Tiananmen secure on June 4 anniversary. "[P]lainclothes policemen mingled with sightseers following their flag-waving guides, ready to pounce should one attempt to mark the day by unfurling a protest banner, kneeling to pray or laying wreaths."

AP: "BEIJING -- Chinese police tore up a protester's poster and detained at least two people on Beijing's Tiananmen Square on Sunday as the country marked 17 years since local troops crushed a pro-democracy demonstration in the public space."

HONG KONG (Reuters) - "Tens of thousands of people waved candles, chanted slogans and sang songs in Hong Kong on Sunday evening to remember the victims of the crackdown in and around Beijing's Tiananmen Square 17 years ago."

"Reverse the verdict on June 4th. The people will not forget. Long live democracy," chanted the crowd, which organisers estimated to be 44,000 strong but police put at about 19,000. Such gatherings have been held annually since 1989...This year's organisers also sought to show support through the vigil for an emerging "rights protection" (wei quan) movement in China."

Photo of candle light vigil in Hong Kong, by Samson So Photography. More photos in the June 4th Tiananmen Massacre Pool.

Audio recordings from the candle light vigil (in Cantonese) is available for download in mp3 or for listing on-demand over the internet.

More news on the anniversary in China Digital Times.

Lots of bloggers, mostly in Hong Kong, expressed their feelings about the anniversary. Their entries can be found in http://del.icio.us/tag/"8964".

However in China, "[u]nder the party propaganda policies, no commemoration of the movement was allowed in public places and the newspapers and TV networks passed the day wthout any even implied mention of it...Silence did not only existed in the media outlets but also on Internet. The major websites are mute as much as their mainstream media counterparts." Nonetheless, one can still find bloggers writing about the event. Frank Dai has translated some of the writings by Chinese bloggers into English.

Internet Keeps Tiananmen Spirit Alive "There is a continuity between Tiananmen and free expression through the Internet. Tiananmen was a moment of freedom for the Chinese people under Communist rule and also in the thousands and thousands of years of Chinese history. People tasted freedom and stood up for it." Xiao Qiang, from Tiananmen generation, presently Director of China Internet Project at U.C. Berkeley.

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