As spring turns to summer, June 4 is here again. “Seven members of the Tiananmen Mothers went to the cemetery where their loved ones died during the bloody Tiananmen Square crackdown 32 years ago to pay their respects.
This day 32 years ago is known in Chinese Communist Party parlance as “the storm at the turn of spring and summer”. The Chinese Communist Party mobilized more than 200,000 field troops to quell the pro-democracy protests by university students and millions of people from all walks of life, and cracked down on students and civilians who were peacefully protesting. Tanks from the Chinese army rampaged through the streets, piles of bicycles were rolled into scrap metal on both sides of Chang’an Street, and pools of blood were left in the streets near Tiananmen Square. Countless students and civilians were either killed by bullets or run over and injured by tanks.
The Tiananmen Mothers, all of whom had children killed in the massacre, have been appealing to society and to the authorities for more than 30 years to seek justice for the unjustified deaths of their children.
Zhang Xianling, the initiator of the Tiananmen Mothers, said that the Chinese authorities’ indifference to their demands proves the incompetence and cruelty of the authorities. The world saw what happened on June 4, and it is impossible to hide it.
According to Hong Kong media, the seven mothers arrived at the Wan’an Cemetery on the outskirts of Beijing at 9:30 a.m. Friday in a police vehicle. In her eulogy, You Weijie, a spokeswoman for the group, said that the eight relatives who were killed, who were in the prime of their youth and took to the streets with patriotic fervor, were brutally killed and gave their young lives. As relatives, we will never forget this tragic case, which is a pain that can never be removed from our hearts.
The memorial service was conducted under tight police control, and some of the family members reported to the police in advance the car models they were using, their license plates, the number of people accompanying them and their relationships. All vehicles entered the cemetery through the north gate and were not allowed to go through the main gate. There were at least 20 plainclothes officers operating at the subway station near the cemetery. Only relatives were allowed to enter the cemetery, and foreign journalists were blocked from the outside.
The Chinese Communist authorities have been banning all any activities to commemorate June 4 in order to completely erase it from people’s memories. Hong Kong used to hold annual candlelight commemorations of June 4 as a model of “one country, two systems. But last year, such events were completely banned after Xi Jinping ordered the imposition of a national security law in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong’s English-language newspaper The Standard quoted You Weijie as saying, “I understand and respect the authorities’ ban on commemorative activities for public health reasons, but any reason other than the epidemic is unacceptable.”
You Weijie said that the commemoration of June 4 is not in conflict with the national security law. Everyone should condemn the government’s blatant trampling of the law back then.