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Marking 35 Years Since Tiananmen Square Massacre


Thirty five years ago on this day, China’s Communist Party unleashed tanks and troops on students demanding freedom and democracy in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

Thousands died, many had to flee the country and never returned. Any discussion of the crackdown remains strictly forbidden in China and as is the usual practice, access to Tiananmen Square was restricted.

According to an announcement on the ticketing website, reservations for visiting the square were suspended for the day, and tickets that had already been booked could be returned for a refund.

But even as the authorities in Beijing clamped down on a massacre which the Communist Party is seeking to erase from the national consciousness, elsewhere the event was widely commemorated. Germany’s Ambassador to China Patricia Flor posted this on X (formerly twitter):
“Last night we lit some candles in the windows of our Embassy”.

The British Embassy did something similar. A post on X said: “35 years ago, peaceful protests in and around Tiananmen Square ended in tragedy. Some people are trying to erase those events from history and memory. Today we remember.”

Another post on X highlighted an event in Auckland, New Zealand: “On June 3, Auckland, New Zealand hosted a photo exhibition commemorating the 35th anniversary of the June 4th Incident.”

Interesting was another post by an X handle @whyyoutouzhele, who is a famous Chinese activist. He posted a video of Chang’an Avenue, which connects to Tiananmen Square.

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The video shows a taxi crashing into the guardrail along the avenue. The vehicle was severely damaged and a man believed to be a policeman was knocked to the ground. Several policemen can be seen breaking the windows of the taxi, perhaps to get to the driver.

Another X user @zhu0588, shared a photo album titled “Beijing Spring,” which captures the Tiananmen Square incident.

The album contains photographs taken by the renowned photojournalist brothers, Peter and David Turnley, documenting the events surrounding the 1989 Tiananmen massacre.

There have been sporadic attempts by the Communist Party to disrupt overseas memorial services. A ceremony in New York was rudely disturbedwhen two protesters appeared on the scene and shouted to the crowd, “Long live the Communist Party” and “Go back to Taiwan!”

Reuters reports that security was tight in Hong Kong where local police arrested several activists. Victoria Park, scene of numerous candlelight vigils in the past, was deserted owing to tough new security laws.

An elderly woman activist who came with a bouquet of flowers to pay tribute was detained and taken away. Eight people have been detained so far on charges of sedition.

In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman told journalists that his country “Firmly opposes any one smearing China and using this as a pretext to interfere in China’s internal affairs.”