Tuesday, December 1, 2015   

Crackdown remembered from coast to coast

Charles Snyder

Saturday, June 05, 1999

Candlelight vigils, memorial ceremonies, panel discussions held in

United States

Charles Snyder in Washington

EXILED Chinese dissidents on both the east and west coast of the

United States marked the 10th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square

incident with candlelight vigils, memorial ceremonies, panel

discussions and other events as members of Congress and human rights

groups planned their own commemorations.

President Bill Clinton made a point of recalling the 1989 crackdown in

his 3 June announcement extending normal trade relations with China

for another year.


"A decade ago at Tiananmen, when Chinese citizens courageously

demonstrated for democracy, they were met by violence from a regime

fearful of change," Mr Clinton said.

"We continue to speak and work strongly for human rights in China."

Greater bilateral trade, he said, will foster social change and

promote freedom.

Hundreds of overseas Chinese and human rights activists were planning

a candlelight vigil in a small park in front of the Chinese embassy in

Washington on Friday evening. The event, organised by the Independent

Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars, will feature speeches by

noted dissidents, rights activists and, perhaps one or two


Earlier in the day, a memorial ceremony was planned in Portsmouth

Square in San Francisco in which severe China human rights critic,

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi of California, will be a speaker. Ms Pelosi

was the chief sponsor of a resolution passed by the House of

Representatives last week condemning Beijing's rights record, urging

an official re-evaluation of June 4 by Beijing, calling for the

release of political prisoners, the punishment of those responsible

for the killings, compensation for victims' families and the lifting

of the blacklist on overseas dissidents.

On Thursday, a 2.85-metre replica of the Goddess of Democracy was

unveiled at Freedom Park in Rosslyn, Virginia, across the Potomac

River from Washington by the Freedom Forum. The 270kg bronze statue is

a copy of a statue found in San Francisco's Chinatown.

In New York, the exiled dissident group Human Rights in China held a

memorial from Thursday night to Friday morning in which testimonials

were read honouring those killed in the crackdown.

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