Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, June 04, 2018

Ancient history

In political terms the events of May and June 1989 are more ancient than the Qing Dynasty. The massacre that took place in Tiananmen Square on June 4 has been hidden from or forgotten by most people, but the political elite remembers well. Should we?

Portraits of persistence: the Hongkongers refusing to let memories of China’s 1989 Tiananmen crackdown die
Ahead of Monday’s anniversary of the 1989 crackdown on democracy protesters, the Post spoke to two of the few Hongkongers who witnessed the chaotic clearance operation. The pair shared how they narrowly escaped death amid the gunfire and tanks that ran across the city on the night of June 3 and early morning of June 4.
Tiananmen Square, 1989
Kenneth Lam, then a student leader at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, has since become a local human rights lawyer, fighting for the rights of grass-roots workers.

He considers his work an extension of the spirit that drove the Tiananmen protest movement almost three decades ago.

Taking a different path, Gloria Fung Yuk-lang left China in 1989 for Canada, from where she keeps a close eye on her hometown and works to raise awareness of the crackdown in the face of Beijing’s continued attempts to muzzle any mention of the incident inside the country’s borders.

Both Lam and Fung see it as their responsibility to tell the world what happened, and keep up the struggle against fading memories. Their stories are often harrowing…
Beijing 1989

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