In the spring of 1989 a million Chinese protesters gathered in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and called for government accountability, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and better industrial working conditions. Chinese authorities sent in troops, killing over two hundred people.
That was on June 4th. As for freedom of expression, don’t try tweeting “June 4” or even the clever “May 35th” in China, the censors won’t allow it. And they won’t allow you to blog the Tiananmen “Tank Man” episode, a lone protester stopping a line of tanks, even if you replace the tanks with giant rubber ducks. Too reminiscent of this week’s poultry plant fire that killed 119 Chinese workers, perhaps. China’s industrial working conditions are still a matter of life and death. Those industries make most of their products for the United States and Europe.
Update: China’s government has made the anniversary of the June 4th massacre a non-event, but officially celebrates Children’s Day on June 1st, three days earlier. That explains the rubber huge rubber ducks and Lego tanks.
Image (“Tiananmen Square, Foxconn Edition”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com
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