Man took part in Tiananmen Square massacre

June 3, 2009 7:11:42 PM PDT
China is barring foreign journalists from visiting Tiananmen Square in Beijing, on the 20th anniversary of a brutal military crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators. China is also blocking Internet access.

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The government of China is shutting down access to information about the Chinese Democracy Movement and the events of 20 years ago.

They're also shutting down social networking sites like Twitter and Flickr to help prevent those who do remember from organizing.

In Tiananmen Square where it is already June 4th, there is no sign that anything took place on this date 20 years ago. The information on the student uprising and the massacre is shut down on the Chinese Internet.

"Well, usually it's primarily about people learning about what happened in Tiananmen Square," said Danny O'Brien from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

O'Brien says on this 20th anniversary, China is going a step further shutting down sites like Twitter and Flickr to prevent people from organizing.

"It's much more a question of stopping people from keeping track of each other," said O'Brien.

ABC7 asked East Bay attorney Arthur Liu to go on China's version of Google and search Tiananmen Square, and read us what he found.

"Some soldiers were beaten to death by some rioters," said Liu.

On the only site mentioning the uprising, the Chinese version has rioters attack soldiers. There was no mention of the tanks that crashed through make shift barricades and rolled over those who tried to stop them.

"It's the government's version of what happened that day," said Liu.

Liu was one of the student organizers of China's Democracy Movement. He fled before authorities could arrest him.

"People of my generation knew something really bad happened in bejing," said Liu.

Liu says today with the current students in china it's very different.

"They don't know anything, unfortunately they really don't know anything about what happened in Tiananmen Square," said Liu.

And he says they don't care about the same things.

"Because of the economic reform, I think the government really encouraged them to think about money how you can make money," said Liu.

And it's not just China, says Liu. The U.S. used to tie most favored nation status to civil rights and freedoms; that is no longer.

"I think in many ways the U.S. government has sacrificed the human rights values and democratic values for economic gains in China," said Liu.

Liu feels that with regard to china, U.S. government sacrificed democratic values for economic gain. And if the thinking was that capitalism would lead to increased freedoms, Liu says look at the last 20 years.

Capitalism flourished and human rights violations and repressions are going unchallenged.

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