Tiananmen on My Mind

Jun 04, 2011

A man crippled by the tank that rolled over his legs. A 15-year-old who demands the truth. Here’s a collection of Chinese voices on the 1989 government crackdown on pro-democracy student protestors, known to them simply as June 4.


“As is done every year, starting in an hour till midnight tomorrow, a fast of 24 hours, as a remembrance of those who died. This was begun after 1989, and I will keep to it my whole life.”

- June 4 student leader Wang Dan 王丹 in a tweet at midnight on June 4, 2011.


“ 我当时还有点意识,感觉坦克的履带撕扯着我的腿和裤子,在地上拖行了一段,最后掉落在地上,我滚到路边,靠在铁栏杆上,后来来到美国,在网站上看到了自己 靠在铁栏杆上的那张照片,我当时最后失去记忆前眼睛看到的最后一幕就是:我腿前面露出了一节白色的骨头。”

“I still had some consciousness to feel the tracks of the tanks through my trousers and my legs, dragging them for a distance, till they finally fell on the ground. I rolled onto the roadside and leant against the metal railings.

I later came to the U.S. and saw the photos of myself against those railings on the Internet. My last memory before losing consciousness was seeing the white of the bones of my legs.”

- Fang Zheng, 方政, a student demonstrator, fell onto the ground, while trying run away from the tanks. The disabled athlete wished to represent China in the Special Olympics, but was rejected by the Chinese committee, after they learnt about how he became crippled.

923 Fang Zheng in various photos from June 4, 1989 to present (Photo: 64memo)


“In the past 22 years, I have been to the Square more than ten times every year on the night of June 3, and experienced the increasingly chilling atmosphere. Yet, security was never this tight before. It must be since 2008, plainclothes policemen tail you like a shadow.”

- A tweet by Beijing-based buchimifan on June 3.






“Why is it that in our own country, those who wish to understand and study June 4 are cursed as traitors, as those who don't understand the big picture, people who disgrace their country?

In the Nanjing massacre, 300,000 people (died), and there are suggestions for a wall bearing the names of the victims. For June 4, we can't even know the casualty figures.

Two attitudes – is it only because one was carried out by foreigners and the other by Chinese?

Those who died, are they not our fellow countrymen?”

- U.S.-based Chinese blogger calling for the Tiananmen uprising to be commemorated like the massacre carried out by the Japanese in the Chinese city of Nanjing during World War II.


“作为一个90后,我觉得在以前我还是拥有一切90后的特征,冷漠、斤斤计较、不够宽容与稳重,对于那些所谓的一些流行的东西,流行装酷的嗜好;作为一个 90后,我对7、8年前发生的事情一无所知,我们甚至不知道我们出生前一天发生的事。

... 可能有人会说,你只是一个学生,管那么多干什么... 对于此我想说的是:我承认我是一个学生,但我首先是一个中国人,一个对未来有追求、有希望的中国公民。.”

“As one from the post-90 generation, I always felt before that I had all the characteristics of my generation: aloof, calculative, not magnanimous and composed, and easily taken by what is popular or cool. As a post-90 generation, we have no idea about what happened a day before we were born, much less seven, eight years before.

...Some people may say, you are just a student, why do you care so much... To that I would like to say, I admit I am a student, but I am first a Chinese, a Chinese citizen chasing and hoping for the future.”

- Excerpts from a post by Hamletlee, a 15-year-old Chinese blogger, on why he should care about June 4th.