Reclaiming Tiananmen 2014: Report…

Reclaiming Tiananmen 2014: Report





[10 June 2014] To mark the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests and massacre, Amnesty International UK, Friends of Tiananmen Mothers UK, and Chinese, Uighur & Tibetan Solidarity UK worked alongside activists to remember those who lost their lives, highlight the need for truth and justice and continue the campaign for human rights, freedom and democracy in China. 

postcardReclaiming Tiananmen 2014 was a series of events in London held between 28 May and 5 June, to remember and highlight the Tiananmen protests and massacre. It was organised by Friends of Tiananmen Mothers UK and Chinese Uyghur Tibetan Solidarity UK (CUTS UK),  in conjunction with Amnesty International UK.

Page Index
1. Tank Man in Trafalgar Square
2. Exhibition: 64+25=89
3. Panel discussion
4. CUTS UK press release
5. Flower-laying ceremony
6. Candlelit vigil
7. Links to statements & reports

1. Tank Man in Trafalgar Square
Tank Man in Trafalgar SquareOn 31 May, the famous scene of an anonymous Chinese man stopping a convoy of tanks in Tiananmen Square in 1989 was re-enacted in Trafalgar Square by members of Chinese Uyghur Tibetan Solidarity UK.

The tanks, depicted on large boards, moved across Trafalgar Square before being intercepted by a solitary protestor. The boards were then flipped over to reveal messages including: "4 June 1989: Tiananmen Square, Beijing. Over 1,000 killed. Thousands imprisoned" "Truth for June 4th" and "Freedom, Human Rights, Democracy".

Click here to watch video and read more

2. Exhibition: 64+25=89
Post-massacreA public exhibition of photos was held at Amnesty International UK, from 28 May - 5 June, depicting the Tiananmen Square protests and massacre. The images showed the beginnings of the student protests in Beijing in April 1989, how they grew over the subsequent weeks with students, workers and even party officials taking part, and concluded with tragic consequences as armed forces killed hundreds of protestors on 3 and 4 June.

The title "64+25=89" derives from 64 representing June 4th, 25 for the anniversary and 89 for the year of the protests.

3. Panel discussion
PanelOn 3 June, a panel discussion on the impact and legacy of the Tiananmen protests and massacre was hosted by Amnesty International UK. The panel included two generations of Chinese protestors, Wu Renhua and Shao Jiang, student protest organisers in 1989, Wang Ti-Anna, an activist born in 1989, plus Dr Jonathan Mirsky, a journalist who was in Beijing at the time of the protests.

Wu Renhua, Shao Jiang and Dr Mirsky all gave moving testimony to events in Tiananmen Square on 3 and 4 June 1989, including witnessing many Chinese protestors shot by Chinese troops and run over by tanks.

Wang Ti-Anna told the audience how she had been named after the Tiananmen incident and her ongoing campaign to free her father, Wang Bingzhang, who is serving a life sentence in China for his political activism.

Click here to read biographies of the panel

4. Press Release
Soldiers and protestorsTo coincide with the 4 June anniversary, Chinese Uyghur Tibetan Solidarity UK issued a press release calling on the Chinese Communist Party to end its denial of the massacre and for justice for the victims. CUTS UK also called on the international community to insist the Chinese government upholds human rights, in particular the freedom of expression for all the peoples of China including Han, Uyghurs and Tibetans.

The press release quoted Shao Jiang, one of the student protest organisers in 1989 who now lives in the UK and is a member of Chinese Uyghur Tibetan Solidarity UK. "The wound of Tiananmen Square 1989 remains unhealed. We must seek the truth, expose the perpetrators of the massacre and bring justice for all those who lost their lives on 4 June 1989."

Click here to read the press release

5. Flower-laying ceremony
On 4 June, survivors from Tiananmen Square, Chinese activists, Tibetans and representatives of human rights NGOs (including Tibet Society) laid 25 bouquets of flowers outside the Chinese Embassy in London to mark the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

As the first bouquet was laid near the door of the Embassy, jointly by activist Wang Ti-anna and Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen, two Embassy officials emerged and pushed the two activists away from the Embassy, picked up the flowers and threw them away. The incident was captured by gathered media, including the BBC.


After the police shepherded the Embassy officials back inside, the ceremony continued. Tiananmen survivors Wu Renhua and Shao Jiang laid bouquets (pictured below right). Philippa Carrick (CEO) and Riki Hyde-Chambers (Chairman) laid bouquets on behalf of Tibet Society (pictured below left).

Further reading: Telegraph article I BBC article & video (1:43) I Channel 4 video
Click here for more photos of ceremony via facebook

6. Candlelit Vigil
VigilA candlelit vigil was held on the evening of 4 June, opposite the Chinese Embassy in London, to remember all the victims of the Tiananmen massacre.

Despite high winds and driving rain over 150 people attended the vigil. Special guests Wu Renhua and Wang Ti-anna and addressed the crowd along with Amnesty International UK's Director Kate Allen.

Following a minute's silence for all the victims of the massacre, the names were read out of all those who died and have been identified. Of over a thousand believed to have died only 202 bodies have so far been identified. The rest remain unknown or missing.

The evening concluded with the reading of a poignant poem written in 2011 by imprisoned activist Zhu Yufu.


It's Time

It's time, people of China! it's time.

The Square belongs to everyone.

With your own two feet

It's time to head to the Square and make your choice.


It's time, people of China! it's time.

A song belongs to everyone.

From your own throat

It's time to voice the song in your heart.


It's time, people of China! it's time.

China belongs to everyone.

Of your own will

It's time to choose what China shall be.

Click here for photos of vigil via flickr

7. Reports & statements
The following is a selection of statements and reports issued on and around the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Reports and statementsSeveral Tiananmen prisoners including Miao Deshun (苗德顺), Chen Yong (陈勇), Luan Jikui (栾吉奎), Deng Wenbin(邓文斌), Sun Guanghu(孙广虎) and Yu Rong(余蓉) are still believed to be incarcerated
Amnesty International: Tiananmen’s ‘Most Wanted’: Four inspiring activists remember the crackdown Pt 1 I Pt 2 
Human Rights Watch: China, the world remembers Tiananmen massacre
Human Rights Watch: Q&A: Witnessing the Aftermath of the Tiananmen Square Massacre
Radio Free Asia: Tiananmen Didn't End in 1989. Interview with Rowena Xiaoqing
Radio Free Asia: Tibetans, Uyghurs Remember Own Crackdowns on Tiananmen Anniversary
TCHRD: ‘For the values of democracy and equality’: Remembering Tiananmen HeroesCHRD: Individuals Affected by Government Crackdown Around 25th Anniversary of Tiananmen Massacre


CHRD: The Legacy of Tiananmen: 20 Years of Oppression, Activism and Hope


StatementsThe Dalai Lama | UN High Commissioner for Human Rights 

Media reports
BBC: Timeline: Tiananmen protests
BBC: In pictures: Beijing's Tiananmen Square protests
BBC: Archive: Tiananmen Square protesters battle Chinese troops (report by Kate Adie from 1989, video 3:34)    
BBC: A revolution which almost succeeded (by John Simpson)
BBC: 'I witnessed 46 deaths at Tiananmen', says John Simpson (audio 2:41)
BBC: Miao Deshun: China's last Tiananmen prisoner?
Guardian: Tiananmen square protests and crackdown: 25 years on
Guardian: 'Every person in the crowd was a victim of the massacre' by Ma Jian
Foreign Policy: The Square: A look back at Tiananmen - then, now, and the 25 years in between
Foreign Policy: A Time-Lapse Map of Protests Sweeping China in 1989

Shao Jiang: Tiananmen 25 Years On: The Square has become Squares



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