Wednesday, December 2, 2015   

In Beijing, flickers of protest are swiftly quelled


Saturday, June 05, 1999

A PROTESTER who threw leaflets into the air and another who flashed a

defiant umbrella message on the edge of Tiananmen Square provided tiny

flickers of dissent on the 10th anniversary of the June 4 crackdown


Police pounced on the young man after he scattered his fliers beneath

a giant portrait of late Chairman Mao Zedong on the Gate of Heavenly


The type-written leaflet signed by a Peking University student

demanded democracy, denounced corruption and supported worker rights,

echoing the themes of student protesters who occupied the square in



"Workers are sacred. Democracy is the guarantee," it said.

Hours later, a second man managed briefly to open a white umbrella

calling on the government to "return state property to the common

people and remember the 10th anniversary of the student movement"

before being collared by police.

Bereaved families of the victims flocked to cemeteries carrying white

flowers and offerings of rice wine. Some silently remembered the dead

at home by lighting candles.

Security was tight around the vast square, which has been sealed off

with a steel curtain for renovations.

"We lit candles at home all night yesterday," said Zhou Shuzhuang,

the mother of a slain Qinghua University student.

Chinese communities worldwide marked the anniversary with protests,

candlelight vigils, concerts and forum.

In Taipei, people openly mourned the victims and Taiwan's parliament

observed a minute of silence.


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