Remembering Tiananmen Square In 2008
Events to be held around the world this week
May 30, 2008 (CSN) -- It is that time of year for the annual commemorations and memorial observances to remember the freedom fighters of Tiananmen Square, including the dead, the wounded, and their families who were victimized by the Chinese government's crackdown against the Chinese democracy movement. It was 19 years ago, on the night of June 3-4, 1989, when the government used "the People's Liberation Army" to shoot its way into Tiananmen Square, unloading live ammunition into unsuspecting civilians -- unarmed demonstrators on the streets of Beijing.
Today, CSN is offering this roundup of expected events. (1.) Washington candle light vigil; (2.) New York consulate protest; (3.) Hong Kong candle light vigil; (4.) Washington rally with Yang Jianli and Nancy Pelosi.
(1.) Washington candle light vigil
The IFCSS (Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars) will hold the 19th annual vigil to observe the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, on Sunday June 1, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm, outside the Chinese embassy in Washington DC. The China Support Network and Freedom First Olympics Second Coalition will co-sponsor the event, along with Light Club, the modern rock band that will play American rock music in support of the causes of Chinese freedom, democracy, human rights, and an Olympic boycott.
The Chinese embassy is at 2300 Connecticut Avenue, NW in Washington DC.
(2.) New York consulate protest
Chinese groups including the China Democracy Party World Union will hold a protest opposite the Chinese consulate in Manhattan of New York City, on Tuesday June 3 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm. The Chinese consulate is on the north east corner of 42nd Street and 12th Avenue. The protest will be on the west side of 12th Avenue. This is for the 19th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
(3.) Hong Kong candle light vigil
The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China will hold the candle light vigil for the 19th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre "to commemorate those who were killed in the June 4th Massacre in China and express our eagerness for democracy, freedom, human rights and rule of law." The vigil will occur on Wednesday, June 4, beginning at 8:00pm. The location is the football fields in Victoria Park of Hong Kong.
(4.) Washington rally with Yang Jianli and Nancy Pelosi
On Capitol Hill in Washington DC, a daytime rally will commemorate the 19th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. This will be in the late morning of Wednesday, June 4, from 10:30am to 12:00pm. The venue is the Upper Senate Park, which is on Constitution Avenue next to the Russell Senate Office Building. This rally will also feature the end of Dr. Yang Jinali's 500 mile "GongMin Walk," in which he has walked from Boston to Washington during the month of May, 2008. A 21-foot replica of the Goddess of Democracy statue (originally erected by students in Tiananmen Square) will serve as a backdrop. In addition to Dr. Yang Jianli, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will speak, as will T. Kumar (of Amnesty International), Carl Gershman (of the National Endowment for Democracy), Rebiya Kadeer (of Uyghur American Association). Co-sponsors include Initiatives for China, the Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars, the Chinese Democratic Party, the Federation for a Democratic China, the Alliance for a Democratic China, Beijing Spring, the Chinese Social Democratic Party, the Uyghur American Association, Falungong Practitioners, the International Campaign for Tibet, Freedom Now, Reporters without Borders USA, Human Rights First, Amnesty International USA, Human Rights Watch, and the US Campaign for Burma.
In addition to the events above, Chinese embassies and consulates around the world will be locations for local protests. Check local human rights groups for details. Here are some that we're aware of:
(5.) London rally with Wei Jingsheng
The Chinese embassy in London is at 49-51 Portland Place, W1B 1JL. This event will be Wednesday, June 4, from 6:00pm to 7:00pm. The UK section of Amnesty International (AIUK) is responsible for organizing this demonstration, which will include famed Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng. Other speakers include Kate Allen (of AIUK), Xia Ze (of Friends of Tiananmen Mothers in the UK), and Chinese dissident Shao Jiang. This is for the 19th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
(6.) Oxford demonstration
On Wednesday June 4 AIUK is holding a demonstration at the Martyr's Memorial in Oxford, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. This is for the 19th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
(7.) Stratford upon Avon vigil
The Stratford upon Avon Methodist Church in Old Town will be open for 12 hours of vigil, from 9:00am to 9:00pm on Wednesday June 4. This is for the 19th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
(8.) Belfast (Northern Ireland) demonstration
On Wednesday June 4 AIUK in Northern Ireland is holding a demonstration at the Corn Market in Belfast City Centre, beginning at 12:00 noon. This is for the 19th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
(9.) Edinburgh (Scotland) demo w/die-in
On Wednesday June 4 AIUK in Scotland is holding a demonstration to include activists performing a dramatic "die in" at 1:00pm. The venue is The Mound, Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL. They will have a table, booth, or stall in the open square next to National Gallery throughout the morning, to help the public / activists to make paper red roses. Those will be used in the program that runs from 12:45pm to 3:45pm. This is for the 19th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
(10.) Siegburg, Germany seminar
On Wednesday June 4, the Federation for a Democratic China will be running a program at Asia Büfett Restaurant, Holzgasse 42, 53721 Siegburg, from 2:00pm to 5:00pm. This is for the 19th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.