CLIO mr brice - page 22

TIANANMEN
SQUARE
1989
It is extremely difficult for an entire conflict to be
wiped from history. By its nature a conflict will
typically involve bloodshed and death, which leads to
monuments being built, history books being written,
and commemorations occurring every year. As well as
this, the families and friends of every dead individual
would remember the violence, cruelty and wrongdoing
which lead to their death. All this makes it increasingly
hard to imagine an entire country being denied the
right to mourn those who died bravely and before their
time in some struggle or war; yet this is the reality of the
Tiananmen Square Massacre.
If you were to visit the square now, you would not see
a monument to the hundreds, or possibly thousands,
of predominantly young students who were pitilessly
massacred by their own government. Relatives were
forbidden from mourning the loss of the government-
labelled “rioters”, and to this day public discussion of
the event is not allowed. Filters prevent the Chinese
from learning about the incident online, and books, art
and photography relating to the event are prohibited.
New generations will learn why you must have a permit
to film in Tiananmen Square, or why it is watched over
by police, and is constantly under CCTV surveillance.
In fact, due to press censorship, many Chinese are not
aware that the Tiananmen Square Incident of 1989
ever took place. Thus the Chinese Communist Party
(CCP) has managed to remove what was essentially a
government massacring its innocent, unarmed, and
oppressed people from public memory.
The protests in Tiananmen Square were triggered by the
death of former Communist Party General Secretary Hu
Yoabang. Hu had been deposed following an ideological
power struggle, where, as a liberal, he called for political
and economic reforms. When he died of a heart attack
in April 1989, university students from Beijing marched
and gathered in the square. They demanded freedom of
press and speech, an end to government corruption and
greater democracy in China.
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