Last week, on the 23rd anniversary of China’s 1989 June 4th Incident, the country’s ruling Communist Party enacted hardline internet censorship against all references to the 1989 anti-government demonstrations in Tiananmen Square.
The 1989 Tiananmen Square protest ended in military suppression resulting in the deaths of hundreds to thousands of protesters. An exact number of the victims has never been released by the Chinese government.
As reported by Reuters, June 4, 2012 saw Chinese internet crackdowns on specific search terms such as “six-four” (for June 4th) and “23” (for 23rd anniversary), as well as more obscure terms such as “never forget.”
China’s internet surfers, on that day, received search results stating that their search terms could not be displayed “due to relevant laws, regulations and policies.” As well, bloggers saw numerous posts and all photos pertaining to Tiananmen Square deleted or “harmonized” – a widely used euphemism in the country for censorship.
In addition to the internet crackdown, dozens of dissidents, former prisoners and petitioners were given warnings not to speak to journalists, nor to participate in public anniversary activities.
Liu Weiguo, a Shandong-based lawyer, participated in a covert 24-hour fast with other Chinese lawyers and human rights activists. And a street vendor wonders, “Do foreigners know about June 4? I think it is important we remember, but nobody will talk about it now.”
This video about the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident is riveting.
Can you imagine living under this type of censorship?
Would you clam up…or be a ‘Tank Man?’