The Unknown Rebel

The unknown rebel
Beijing — June 1989.

During several weeks in the spring of 1989, hundreds of thousands of students gathered together in continuous peaceful protests in several cities throughout China, against the policies of their government.

On June 4th, 1989, the Chinese State ordered an end to the demonstrations that had been taking place on Tiananmen square in Beijing. Infantry and tanks were deployed against the unarmed people. Several hundreds were killed, thousands perhaps. 19 years later, and a few weeks before the Olympic Games are held in Beijing, about 130 persons are still imprisoned in China because they dared protest in 1989.

On the day after Tiananmen slaughter, a single man shocked the world, when he stood alone before a line of tanks and made them stop and turn off their motors.
The Unknown Rebel

Nobody knows who this man was. Nobody knows if he could make it at the end. Maybe he is one of the 130 people still imprisoned since 1989. Yet this anonymous, ordinary person, with shopping bags in both hands, has become an example of human courage and struggle for freedom. He is an icon of the 20th century.

(Repost of a blog published on the same day last year
on Yahoo 360°, with a few changes)

3 comment(s):

    I watched that video half a dozen times, and I feel moved to tears. His actions are truly inspiring and are a testament to the inner strength that people can have. I can only aspire to have his strength in defending his convictions.


    Gives me goosepimples still, and I remember the images from when they were on the news, 19 years ago.
    We were on the Tiananmen square in october 2005, with a private tour guide, a 22 year old student, sweet girl. We carefully inquired about the student protests, and she said with complete sincereness that those students weren't actually students but bad people recruited by antisocialist western governments, and that our media had been fooled.
    Then she happily chatted on about the huge Mao portrait that is sitting at the entrance of the forbidden city.


    That's the way governements behave indeed. Not in dictatures only though, unfortunately. When I feel I'm getting condescendent, I think of the French believing in official claims that Chernobyl radioactive cloud had not crossed the border in, or US people swallowing the whole bullshit they were told about Iraq in 2003 and later.


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