Twenty-five years after a violent crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators, China's government won't stand for public discussion — or even mention — of the Tiananmen Square protests. (Via Flickr / Robert Croma)
PETER JENNINGS: "In China, the will of the people has been thwarted by the will of The People's Government."
In 1989, 400 cities across China saw protests against totalitarian Communist rule, and, by June 4, Party leaders had had enough. An estimated 300,000 soldiers broke up Beijing's protests by force, firing semi-automatic weapons into crowds and running down protesters in tanks. (Via CBS, ABC)
The images broadcast from China prompted international criticism. China's Red Cross said 2,600 had been killed, but even today, the nation's government has not released an official death toll. (Via CNN)
In fact, China's leaders have clammed up about the incident altogether. And they expect China's citizens to do the same — especially on the Internet.
Days before the protests' 25th anniversary, reports out of China say Google services are being disrupted in the country. The Communist Party has a long history of censoring the American search giant.
And on China's favorite microblogging site, Weibo, even terms as general as "June 4" (六四) and "special day" were being deleted by censors.
That's to be expected. China's government has done the same thing year after year on this date. But what's surprising is that the Party seems to try harder every year to scrub away at its history. (Via The Guardian, BBC)
A group of mothers whose sons and daughters died in the Tiananmen Square protests has made digging for government answers its sole mission. Many of them are kept under constant surveillance. That includes Zhang Xianling, who still visits the spot where her son was killed, even after the government installed a camera focused on that spot — a move she calls an attempt at intimidation. (Via Human Rights In China, NPR)
ZHANG XIANLING: "Such a great, mighty and correct party is afraid of a little old lady. It shows how powerful we are, this group of old people, because we represent righteousness."
The Mothers of Tiananmen say they want three things from the Chinese government: truth, accountability and compensation. But 25 years on, they're still waiting for acknowledgment. (Via Flickr / Baron Reznik)