This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. In the early morning of June 4, 1989, the People’s Liberation Army, equipped with tanks and assault rifles, massacred an unknown number of unarmed civilians. The violent crackdown ended month-long demonstrations initiated by university students in Beijing calling on the Party to combat corruption and carry out political reforms. Casualty estimates range from a few hundred to thousands dead.
The Chinese Communist Party regime, fearing a threat to their legitimacy, strictly forbids any open discussion or remembrance of the Tiananmen Square Protests. The government also censors Internet materials related to the protests. Not only is “June 4” a forbidden phrase, words that have similar pronunciation to “June 4” are also censored. Twenty-five years after the bloody crackdown, most Chinese youth either do not know of the incident or do not consider it important.
From May 31 to June 4, the Laogai Research Foundation hosted a photo exhibition to commemorate the people who were killed in the tragic event, as well as express our deepest respect to those who lost their loved ones and those who have been persecuted by the Communist regime for speaking up for the truth.
The exhibition was well received. People from all walks of life came to see the photos and watched the documentary Tank Man. Many were deeply touched by the students’ idealism and bravery. One elderly visitor said to our staff, “Almost every American knows about the ‘Tank Man.’ When I see him, I feel he is China. How courageous he was! Undoubtedly, Chinese democracy has hope.”
We do not believe that the Chinese Communist regime will be able to wipe out the memories of the Massacre from the minds of the Chinese people. We firmly believe that the day of justice will eventually come. Those who were killed in the Massacre and those who have been prosecuted for uncovering the truth will be recognized and honored. Those who killed unarmed innocent civilians will have to ask for forgiveness from the Chinese people.
Laogai Research Foundation