China's pro-democracy movement:
Washington event upcoming Monday, 7/2
Veteran figures will road test their political messages
at the new Victims of Communism Memorial -
featuring a statue of Tiananmen Square's Goddess of Democracy
June 29, 2007 (CSN) -- Less than a month after Washington, DC's new Victims of Communism Memorial was dedicated by U.S. President George Bush, an inevitable new trend is now getting under way. "A statue of the Goddess of Democracy gives us a new favored place at which to hold rallies in the cause of Chinese freedom," said John Kusumi, President of the China Support Network.
Kusumi will appear Monday, July 2, 2007 within a program sponsored by the China Peace and Democracy Federation (CPDF). Another veteran figure, Tang Baiqiao, now the Chairman of CPDF, is expected to appear and to likewise give a speech. The program at the Victims of Communism Memorial will run from 1pm - 2pm. The Memorial is located at the intersection of Massachusetts Ave., N.W., New Jersey Ave., N.W., and G Street, N.W., two blocks from Union Station.
The two campaigners will be road testing two political messages. Mr. Tang is expected to call for a "Second June 4 Campaign," one to echo the 1989 uprising for democratic reform in China, in which Tang himself was a leader of college students in Hunan province. Tang made world headlines in 1992, when he formed the All China People's Autonomous Federation. More recently he was Chairman of China Peace, which recently reorganized to become the China Peace and Democracy Federation -- the sponsor of Monday's event.
Mr. Kusumi is expected to press the theme of "Freedom First, Olympics Second," with the endorsement of Mr. Tang. The CSN is forming a coalition by the same name -- Freedom First, Olympics Second (FFOS). A formal announcement about the coalition and its makeup will not take place Monday, but related events are anticipated for late July and early August this summer.
Kusumi added, "Mr. Tang and I are in agreement that Olympics hosted by the Communist system are unacceptable. But conversely, if China held an election first, then Olympics hosted by a democratic system would be acceptable. This enables us to unify on the message, Freedom First, Olympics Second!"
U.S. President George Bush dedicating the Victims of Communism Memorial
in Washington, DC, June 12 2007. Behind him is a replica Goddess of Democracy statue,
first raised by Chinese college students in their Tiananmen Square democracy protests of 1989.
Global Coalition to Bring Jiang to Justice
Global Coalition to Bring Jiang to Justice
Newsmaker profile: Who is Tang Baiqiao?
China's pro-democracy movement has a series of leaders who were "non-Beijing students," and yet led parts of the uprising that swept the nation in 1989. Examples include Arthur Liu, a student leader in Guangdong province, and Mike Hu, from Shanghai. CSN previously reported that "Liu was able to organize protests of between 500,000 and 1 million people." Outside of China in exile, these people have risen to further prominence as dissident leaders. For example, Liu became Chairman of the Chinese Republican Party.
Tang Baiqiao fits into that category of "non-Beijing leaders" in the movement. In 1989, he was a student leader in Hunan province. In 1992, he formed the All China People's Autonomous Federation and the announcement was echoed in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek magazine, and the South China Morning Post. More recently in exile, he was Chairman of the China Peace organization, subsequently renamed the China Peace and Democracy Federation.
Tang was one of the earliest Chinese dissidents to embrace campaigns initiated by Falun Gong partisans, thereby forming a bridge between the Falun Gong camp, on the one hand, and the political dissident camp, on the other hand. This encouraged more crossover and cooperation between the two groups. In the result, he has esteem from both camps, and he has campaigned tirelessly and worked well in the Global Coalition to Bring Jiang to Justice, and in the jiuping ("Nine Commentaries") and tuidang ("Quit the Party") campaigns. Over 23 million people have tendered resignations from the Chinese Communist Party in the latter campaign.
His new initiative, to encourage a "Second June 4 Campaign," is the subject of his speech to be given in Washington, DC at the Victims of Communism Memorial, on Monday July 2, 2007.
Published June 29, 2007 by the China Support Network (CSN). Begun as the American response group in 1989, CSN represents Americans who are "on the side" of the students in Tiananmen Square -- standing for democratic reform, human rights, and freedom in China. For dissident news; to support a stronger China policy; or get more information, see http://www.chinasupport.net/.