What Tiananmen taught me

Trini Leung in Tiananmen Square, Beijing on 2 June 1989 during the pro-democracy protests. © Private

By Trini Leung, Director for East Asia at Amnesty International.

I’ll never forget the morning of June 2, 1989. I was living in Hong Kong and, together with a few fellow activists, we decided there was nowhere else to be but Beijing, near Tiananmen Square. It was a decision that changed my life.

We took a flight to Beijing, and within hours found ourselves surrounded by thousands of Chinese men and women, young and old, activists, students and workers – all making history in Tiananmen Square. They were there defying one of the world’s most powerful governments, armed with nothing but words, courage and determination to stand by the students who had for weeks been demonstrating for more open and accountable governance.

The atmosphere in the square was electric – unlike anything I had ever experienced – as groups of students, workers and other ordinary citizens engaged in lively debates about corruption, freedom, their rights and the country’s leadership.

Continue reading this blog on CNN.com

Read more:

Tiananmen crackdown: Repression intensifies on eve of 25th anniversary (News story, 3 June 2014)
Tiananmen’s ‘Most Wanted’ – Four inspiring activists remember the crackdown – Part Two (Feature, 3 June 2014)
Tiananmen’s ‘Most Wanted’: Four inspiring activists remember the crackdown – Part One (Feature, 2 June 2014)
China’s Tiananmen anniversary blackout (Blog, 20 May 2014)

 

Posted in Censorship and Free Speech, China, Demonstrations | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

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