Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Um aniversario controverso: 21 anos de Paz Celestial (no irony...)

Activists subtly mark anniversary of Tiananmen Square crackdown
By Barbara Demick
Los Angeles Times, 3 de junho de 2010

BEIJING — It was a simple cartoon published Tuesday to mark a day that honors the world's children. It showed a boy drawing three tanks on a blackboard and — uh-oh — a small stick figure standing in front of them.

To some, the cartoon in Southern Metropolis Daily was evocative of a certain, unmentionable something that happened in Beijing's Tiananmen Square 21 years ago. The little stick figure resembled the lone, unarmed man who famously faced down a column of tanks — the iconic image of the bloody June 4, 1989, crackdown on student-led demonstrations.

It is the time of year for a ritualized cat-and-mouse game performed by pro-democracy activists, who try to commemorate the crackdown, and Chinese censors, who try to block any allusion to it. Often, the references are oblique plays on the date: One ad that slipped into a newspaper last year showed two groups of people — six on one side and four on the other — looking philosophically toward the sky.

"Until there comes a time that the Chinese government acknowledges what really happened, people will continue to try different ways to express their feelings," said Wen Yunchao, a Guangzhou-based blogger known as Bei Feng, who has campaigned to abolish Internet censorship.

In Hong Kong, where public discussion of Tiananmen has usually been allowed, police today arrested activists who were erecting a replica of a statue called the "Goddess of Democracy".

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