… alle Verhältnisse umzuwerfen, in denen der Mensch ein erniedrigtes, ein geknechtetes, ein verlassenes, ein verächtliches Wesen ist … (Marx)

Archive for 4. Juni 2009

Zum 20. Jahrestag des Tiananmen-Massakers

Posted by entdinglichung - 4. Juni 2009

Nachfolgend dokumentiert ein Artikel aus dem Green Left Weekly vom 26. Juni 1996 von Liang Guosheng, welcher relativ gut zusammenfasst, worum es damals ging … ansonsten sei hier auf eine Bildchronik des IISG den sehenswerten Dokumentarfilm The Gate of Heavenly Peace (1995) und den Artikel Workers in the Tiananmen Protests: the Politics of the Beijing Workers‘ Autonomous Federation (1993) verwiesen:

China: Looking back on the 1989 democracy movement and the Tiananmen Square massacre

By Liang Guosheng

On June 4, 1989, troops, armoured personnel carriers and tanks of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) forced their way through human and constructed barricades into central Beijing, taking control of Tiananmen Square. In the process, according to an estimate by Amnesty International soon afterwards, approximately 1000 unarmed protesters were gunned down or otherwise killed.

Numerous eyewitness accounts confirmed the extent of the massacre. The dead were students and other Beijing workers and residents who had gathered the previous evening to protest against the PLA’s forced entry into central Beijing and the square, which on May 20, 1989, China’s Premier Li Peng had declared a martial law district.

Since the massacre more eyewitness interviews, analytical articles and quite a range of books have been published concerned with what has come to be termed the 1989 Democracy Movement and Beijing massacre. More recent works have also covered the ensuing government crackdown and the fate of those protesters captured by the government, executed or imprisoned.

In the main, parties historically influenced by Stalinism quickly lined up either to defend the „crackdown“ against the „counter-revolutionaries“ in the square (declaring: „the protesters were CIA dupes“). Others grappled with the problem of how, in the light of quickly mounting evidence, to present a wait-and-see attitude („how can we trust the Western media’s reporting?“).

Alternatively, papers produced by far-left organisations in the West correctly identified the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as bearing direct responsibility for the massacre. However, they by and large failed to distinguish between the lower to middle echelons of the party and the factionalised leadership at its apex. In Beijing, at least, vast numbers of party members overtly and covertly supported or helped lead the movement.

Just one example: at several protest marches in late May 1989, even after Premier Li Peng’s declaration of martial law, journalists from a large number of newspapers marched along the Boulevard of Heavenly Peace to the square. Prominent was a contingent from the party’s main official organ, the People’s Daily — with many of the staff being CCP cadre. On the whole, party members were easily identified — many wore their party badges at the demonstrations.

During those spring months in Beijing, the movement drew support and leadership from groups and activists who, at least prior to the massacre, were far more concerned with what they saw as an opportunity to „reform“ the CCP than with its overthrow.

The students, and those whom their actions inspired, including impressive contingents of workers, were united by a range of key demands. Generally these called for the official political rehabilitation of then recently deceased CCP former Secretary-General Hu Yaobang; measures to rid the CCP of corruption, especially the flagrant abuses at its higher levels; the introduction of government transparency and official accountability; measures to increase the democratic rights of students and citizens; the freeing up of academic life and improved study conditions for students together with increases in pay for academics. A call for increased freedom of the press was high on the list following the banning of several prominent newly founded popular newspapers and magazines.

In particular, the students demanded the official reversal of a People’s Daily editorial in April which had denounced the student movement as „a small handful of people“ misled by counter-revolutionary elements. The day after the editorial was published, students from across Beijing spilled out of their campuses in unprecedented numbers to hold a well-organised peaceful protest march. That day many observers had spotted a sign in the middle of the sea of protesters on which was written, „A Small Handful“.

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Posted in China, Gewerkschaft, Klassenkampf, Linke Geschichte, Maoismus, Menschenrechte - Freiheitsrechte, Repression, Stalinismus, StudentInnenbewegung | Leave a Comment »