Wednesday, June 24, 2009

WJSF releases Farsi tract

RT Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng Foundation released Farsi translation of 'The 5th Modernization' #iranelection

Friday, June 05, 2009

Good videos - June 2 - 3, 2009

The China Support Network recommends taking in these YouTube videos:

1. Nancy Pelosi speaks for over 10 minutes on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, about the June 2, 2009 resolution for the 20th anniversary of Tiananmen Square

2. Lhadon Tethong, Executive Director of Students for a Free Tibet, speaks at a June 3, 2009 gathering of Tibetans in solidarity with Tiananmen victims

June 4, 2009 (c) Hong Kong crowd astonishes media

June 4, 2009 (c)
Enormous crowd quadruples the usual size of turnout
for a Tiananmen anniversary vigil in Hong Kong

The following is a blog post by Shanghai correspondent Malcolm Moore of the Telegraph:

Even before I reached Victoria Park for tonight's candlelit vigil, I heard it. My hotel looks over the park, and I heard the first shouts at 5pm, three hours before the event started.

As it turns out, the vigil attracted far more people than Victoria Park's six football pitches could hold - 150,000. Amazingly, more people turned up than on the first anniversary of the Tiananmen Square bloodshed.

It was a heartwarming experience to see so many people, all singing and waving candles. When you live on the mainland, you forget about the strong emotions that unite such large crowds.

If you wanted to snipe, you could say that local pro-democracy parties (HK has said there will not be full parliamentary democracy on the island until 2017 at the earliest) may have whipped people up. Perhaps the people were coming to sound off about local politics as much as to protest against Beijing.

And if they really thought about it, democracy on the mainland may not be in Hong Kong's interests - the lives of the Cantonese on this island are very different from those of mainland Chinese and their views may not find much representation in one unified state.

But at heart, these 150,000 people came because they feel deeply Chinese and because they felt a deep obligation to do something that mainlanders cannot do - speak freely and with emotion.

June 4, 2009 (b) Tiananmen leaders presser coverage

June 4, 2009 (b)
Tiananmen Square student leaders again call
for Chinese democracy

Following is the text of a news article by AFP, the French newswire:

Tiananmen leaders call for China democracy
By Shaun Tandon

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Leaders of the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising crushed 20 years ago appealed Thursday for democracy in China, with US lawmakers pledging support amid silence in Beijing on the anniversary.

Nine of the top student leaders, who now live in exile, reunited at a Washington news conference where they observed a moment of silence for the hundreds, perhaps, thousands killed when the army sent in troops.

"It is our unfailing pursuit to build a democratic China," some 15 dissidents said in a joint statement read out by former student leader Wang Dan, who had topped Beijing's most wanted list.

"We are calling on the generation of the 1989 massacre, both in China and overseas, as well as those who came before us and those who will come after us to work together and combine our strengths," they said.

Key figures from the Tiananmen movement also enjoyed a show of support at the US Congress, where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi welcomed three men who defaced the giant portrait of Mao Zedong in Tiananmen Square.

The three men, who now live in the United States and Canada, said they endured intense abuse in custody after their arrests.

"Imagine the courage against the regime that they continue to express at the expense of their lives and liberty," said Pelosi, who dressed in white as a sign of mourning in line with a call by dissidents.

Pelosi visited China last week, where she said she personally petitioned President Hu Jintao for the release of Tiananmen Square prisoners and detained human rights activists.

China has tried to block any commemoration of the anniversary, pouring police into Tiananmen Square and blacking out foreign media reports.

Congressman Jim McGovern, like Pelosi a member of President Barack Obama's Democratic Party, said the dissidents should be encouraged by Beijing's reaction.

"If the survivors of Tiananmen Square think they were somehow defeated, just look at the impact the very idea of remembering or talking about those events is having on the Chinese government," he said. "They are scared to death."

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday called on China to provide a public account of the dead, missing and injured and to release prisoners still being held for taking part in the protests.

China flatly rejected her call, with a foreign ministry spokesman saying that "on the political incident that took place in the 1980s, the party and the government have already reached a conclusion."

Wang Dan, the former student leader, said the comment showed that China's government has not changed.

"Many Western leaders and President Ma Ying-jeou in Taiwan believe that the leadership in China is not the same one as 20 years ago. I think that what this spokesperson said shows they're wrong -- the Chinese Communist Party has not changed one bit," Wang said.

Ma, who has championed reconciliation with mainland China, had said that Beijing is now willing to discuss human rights, pointing to a Human Rights Action Plan released earlier this year by China's cabinet.

The Tiananmen dissidents voiced optimism about movements such as Charter 8, a petition drive in which leading intellectuals at great risk to themselves pushed last year for democratic reforms in China.

"We believe that China's hope lies with the efforts of the Chinese people themselves and with political reforms, which are currently turning in the direction of the people," the statement said.

June 4, 2009 (a) Nancy Pelosi statements

June 4, 2009 (a)
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made four more gestures
(in addition to her hand in the June 2, 2009 passage of a House Resolution)
for the 20th anniversary of Tiananmen Square:

1.* She spoke about Tiananmen Square in her own press conference;
(* see relevant text, below)

2.* She attended a Tiananmen Square-specific press conference, at which she had
prepared remarks (* below);

3. She noted the "opening of a photo exhibit under the auspices of the National Endowment for Democracy";

4.* She attended a Tiananmen Square-specific rally on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol
(* speech below)

*1. Press conference excerpt:

As was reported to you a couple of days ago, last week I led a bipartisan delegation to China. At that time, we talked about climate change and how our two countries could work together to come to some agreement that would fit within a bilateral Copenhagen Agreement.

We also talked about human rights. And as you probably know, today is the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. We have a number of events following this: an opening of a photo exhibit under the auspices of the National Endowment for Democracy; following that, an event on the West Lawn of the Capitol.

And, yesterday -- day before -- we had a resolution on the floor of the House that passed overwhelmingly in a strong bipartisan way.

*2. Prepared remarks of Nancy Pelosi for Tiananmen Square
-related press conference:

"Today, I am honored to join with Harry Wu and three former Chinese prisoners who were arrested during the Tiananmen Square protests.

"I had the opportunity to meet with them -- Yu Zhijian, Yu Dongyue, and Lu Decheng -- in the Speaker's office yesterday. Together, they spent nearly 40 years in prison. It is a relief that they are finally free.

"I would also like to thank Harry Wu for leading the effort to display the Tiananmen Photo Exhibition here in the Rayburn Building by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists David and Peter Turnley.

"Twenty years ago this week, thousands of Chinese students, workers, and citizens assembled in Tiananmen Square.

"They called for the elimination of corruption. They called for an acceleration of democratic reform, freedom of speech and assembly. They called for a dialogue with China's leaders on how to make progress for the future.

"We remember with sadness and outrage how China's military was unleashed on its own people.

"One of the most enduring images of the 20th Century will forever be seared into our conscience -- the picture of the lone man standing in the street, bringing the line of tanks to a grinding halt.

"Yesterday, the House of Representatives sent a clear message by passing a resolution commemorating the 20th Anniversary of Tiananmen Square, calling on China to allow full and independent investigations into the massacre, and calling for the release of those imprisoned in the 1989 protests.

"Last week, I had the opportunity to lead a bipartisan delegation to China. The topic of human rights was discussed in our high level meetings and in my speeches.

"In particular, I delivered a letter calling for release of certain prisoners of conscience, in accordance with the principles in China's Constitution.

"Liu Xiaobo is one of those individuals. Liu spent five years in prison for supporting the Tiananmen students and questioning the one-party system.

"Late last year, Liu was again arrested for being one of the organizers of Charter '08, an online public petition for democracy and the rule of law.

"Liu continues to be held without charges. Today, we call for his immediate and unconditional release.

"Many in China do not know about the events of June 4th, but they continue to fight for the same causes -- accountability from the government, freedom from corruption, and respect for the rule of law.

"Today we say to the people of China and freedom-loving people everywhere: Your cause is our cause. We will never forget. We will never forget."

*4. The full text of her speech:

“Good afternoon. Thank you very much Yang Jianli and the Initiatives for China for bringing us together this morning and this afternoon.

“Words fail me to adequately tell you what an honor it is to be on the same stage and in the presence of so many of the heroes of June 4 — to have a message at the same time from His Holiness the Dalai Lama in solidarity for more openness in China and Tibet.

“We stand here in front of the Capitol of the United States, a beacon of freedom to the world, with a great history of free speech and open discussion.

“On this side of the Capitol, here on these grounds, we stand with people who took to heart and to mind, the words of our Founders. In our Declaration of Independence, in our Constitution, our words talked about every person being equal and ‘endowed by their creator.’ ‘Endowed by their creator,’ not by the state, but ‘endowed by their creator’ of certain rights like liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And it was for life and liberty — and some people paid that price in Tiananmen Square. They paid with their lives and their liberty to speak out for freedom.

“It’s interesting to me that this week there are also observances in Eastern Europe about freedom emerging there at this time 20 years ago. And for those of you who are old enough to remember Tiananmen Square, you would have seen that the students gathered in the square in May in the days leading up to June 4th were an inspiration to the world, to the entire world. They inspired others to have the courage and they had a drumbeat of liberty and freedom that was felt around the world.

“What they wanted was dialogue with their government on openness and freedom and freedom of speech and religion and ending the corruption in China. They wanted that dialogue, they wanted that conversation — what they got was crushed. Crushed. Some of those people crushed in the square and other streets of Beijing. But they could not crush the spirit of Tiananmen.

“And that’s why it’s important these 20 years later — I remember meeting Chai Ling in Paris. She was newly escaped from China — we are so proud of her, she is so courageous, and so many others, so many other heroes of that movement. Many of them, when they got out of China, signed my man before the tank poster in my office, which is getting old now, but I’m very proud of the signatures that are on there. They are the signatures to a declaration of freedom in China and what this freedom means is openness, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, accountability, rule of law according to the Chinese Constitution.

“So what is important for us to do now? Who would have ever thought all of you here who are gathered with great leaders for democracy? Who would have ever thought that 20 years later, we would still be in this situation? That the same cowardice that inspired — I don’t know if inspired is the word — that insisted that the regime crush the people in the square — to clear that square at such and such a time. The same cowardice that did that — that same fear of the people exists in China today.

“We were told 20 years ago that peaceful evolution and economic reform would lead to political reform. Indeed, the economic reform has occurred. And I was so pleased that Secretary Clinton said in a statement that China has made enormous progress economically. I saw that last week in China. But she also said that a China that had made all that progress should examine openly the darker events of its past and provide a public accounting of those killed at Tiananmen Square — both to learn and to heal. We need to do that as we go forward.

“I also want to reference a speech made by President Obama in Egypt today. President Obama made a very excellent speech in Egypt and this is what he said there: ‘But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things. The ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed, confidence in the rule of law and equal administration of justice, a government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people, the freedom to live as you choose. Those are not just American ideas, they are human rights, and that is why we will support them everywhere.' That is what the President said in Egypt, looking out to the Muslim world.

“I have said over and over again: if we do not support human rights in China and in Tibet, we lose all moral authority to speak about human rights any place in the world. So here we are in front of the Capitol, a building symbolic of the core values of our American independence and our Constitution, in solidarity with those who, using our words, modeling the Goddess of Democracy after the Statue of Liberty, having those aspirations — people carrying those aspirations crushed in Tiananmen Square.

“Twenty years later, the spirit is still alive. In Hong Kong in the observance of Tiananmen Square, over 150,000 people turned out last night. 150,000 people — the biggest crowd since the one-year anniversary of Tiananmen Square. So I know that the long arm of the Chinese government will be reaching out to the media all over the world to suppress reporting on what’s happened in China, and also restricting communication from China through the Internet and the rest, but the fact is that here we are at the Capitol, there they were in Hong Kong, a drumbeat of activity across the world, an echo of the voices of the heroes of Tiananmen. We will never forget. We want a record of what happened, and we will continue to work for more openness and improvements in human rights in China and Tibet.

“Thank you for your courage to turn out here today, to stand in front of the Capitol, to hold us accountable to our own values, and to continue to work together to remember the Tiananmen Square Massacre, to get a public accounting of it

“And let me say just one thing in closing that was shocking to me. On the way there — perhaps you’ve seen the Frontline documentary on Tiananmen Square? And they have a picture of the man before the tank, this picture, an icon that is seared in the minds of people throughout the world. And they had in this documentary that they showed it to some students at Beijing University just a couple of years ago and those students had no idea what the photo was. They said, ‘What is that? Is that art? Did you put that together?’ This is an indication of how the Chinese government has suppressed what happened on June 4th and the days leading up to it.

“So our work is large. It’s work that many of us have been involved in for 20 years. In 1991, I stood in the square and unfurled a banner remembering those who sacrificed so much in Tiananmen Square. I wear white today to signal to the families a sympathy for what they have lost. I did that in 1991 as a Member of Congress, an individual Member, to express my views and the views of my constituents. It was a bipartisan group of us on the square that day, Democrats and Republicans.

“Eighteen years later as Speaker of the House, I had the opportunity to sit across from the President of China, the Premier of China, the Chairman of the People’s Congress, and to express to them the bipartisan concern in the Congress of the United States about China’s human rights record both in China and in Tibet.

“Whatever our roles in whatever stage of our involvement, we have to use everything at our disposal so that they know that we have not forgotten, and that we will not rest until there is freedom of speech and expression and assembly and openness in China and in Tibet.

“So thank you all very much for coming out today. Thank you for what you have done, thank you for what you are going to do, thank you for giving me the privilege of being associated with this very important historic movement for freedom in the world.

“Thank you all very much.”

June 3, 2009 (b) John Kusumi statement

June 3, 2009 (b)
John Kusumi, founder of the China Support Network,
calls for Chinese people to rise up and sweep
away "the model of government-by-gangster"

Full text of the speech:

"'Game on' for Revolution!"

A speech by John Kusumi, Director emeritus of the
China Support Network, a pro-democracy group

- for the 20th anniversary of Tiananmen Square -
- as prepared for vigil of June 3, 2009 -
- Victims of Communism Memorial, Washington, DC -

I want to thank the many friends of freedom who are gathered here. 20 years after a bloody massacre in Beijing, China, the Chinese democracy movement still exists -- in exile, and gathered right here, right now to say "Never Forget," and "Never Again." My group, the China Support Network, still exists -- largely off the radar of sellout news media.

Tiananmen Square had more than a massacre. First, before the army came in, it had an uprising. It was not quite a counter-revolutionary rebellion, but it was a determined, insistent, and unyielding demand for political reform. Inside the high echelons of the Communist Party, there was a power struggle. And, if a different faction had won that power struggle, there would have been peace instead of violence; good instead of evil; and change instead of schlerosis. The title of Shen Tong's book says it well: "Almost A Revolution."

It would be well of United States journalists to focus on that aspect -- the forthcoming change of China -- rather than just photos of the military action.

The Communist Party greatly fears the Chinese democracy movement, because it had and still has the potential to change China's government. In the news this week, we have learned that the Chinese government blocked Twitter and Hotmail. Hello--?? They blocked Twitter and Hotmail!! --And that's in order to stop messages like mine, here.

I'll contribute my personal note here because 25 years ago this month, I started my mercurial -- independent -- teenager's campaign for U.S. President. I ran for the U.S. White House -- of course, I was minimized like Ralph Nader and I lost that race. But it becomes relevant when I am standing together with this reunion of Tiananmen Square leadership. In China, you were the first Generation X politicos. In America, I was the first Generation X presidential candidate. One has to remove the two-party blinders to see that, but it's not a stretch as I claim that mantle -- it is my record.

We are the youth of the 1980s, a decade when there was your attempt to change China, and my attempt to change America. Consider the combination! "We are Generation X, and we demand the keys to the kingdom!" --And next time, we won't take "no" for an answer.... ;)

In any case, I do fully support the Chinese democracy movement and its present-day agenda for political reform that is far-reaching and not just baby steps of incrementalism. There will be a change as the Communist Party is swept away, into the dustbin of history. There are consequences for blocking Twitter and Hotmail: we've got come down hard on them! Tell the people of China, it's "game on" for revolution!

The people of China must rise up, revolt, and sweep away the model of 'government-by-gangster.' The new law of Generation X -- those of us here -- says this: "If you block the emails, you will get a revolution." It's an important precedent to set. We can stop other governments from trying this malarkey in the future. If we can make this stick, government leaders will never again mess with Twitter and Hotmail -- and perhaps, not even with Generation X. :)

There is strength in this cause and in this movement. In 1989, students were asking the government for change. Some even kneeled on the steps of the Great Hall of the People -- and one of them, Zhou Yongjun, has been arrested again in China. He belongs here, at this event, today. We demand his release, and that of Wang Bingzhang, Liu Xiaobo, and Gao Zhisheng. This is 2009. This time, we are not asking the government, we are telling the government -- and calling for a revolution to come along side us.

We are standing where there is a statue of Tiananmen Square's Goddess of Democracy. I remember standing here in 2007 with Tang Baiqiao as he called for a second June 4 movement. With today's open call for revolution, his call is joined. Could the Chinese government negotiate, perhaps with Xu Wenli? Xu Wenli is a Chinese dissident who has called for a Future of China Conference, to be held this fall in Beijing. That, in preparation for a Constitutional Convention of 2010. Those events can and should happen, with or without the Communist Party at the table!

Xu Wenli released that schedule in 2006. Tang Baiqiao called for uprising in 2007. And today, I add my voice in calling for the same. Long live democracy, and may the future of China be bright! Thank you for taking in my speech, and God Bless China!

June 3, 2009 (a) Hillary Clinton statement

June 3, 2009 (a)
U.S. Secretary of State releases four paragraph statement
for the 20th anniversary of Tiananmen Square

Full text of the statement:

On this the 20th anniversary of the violent suppression of demonstrations in Tiananmen Square by Chinese authorities, we should remember the tragic loss of hundreds of innocent lives and reflect upon the meaning of the events that preceded that day.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets for weeks, in Beijing and around the country, first to honor the late reformist leader Hu Yaobang and then to demand basic rights denied to them.

A China that has made enormous progress economically, and that is emerging to take its rightful place in global leadership, should examine openly the darker events of its past and provide a public accounting of those killed, detained or missing, both to learn and to heal.

This anniversary provides an opportunity for Chinese authorities to release from prison all those still serving sentences in connection with the events surrounding June 4, 1989. We urge China to cease the harassment of participants in the demonstrations and begin dialogue with the family members of victims, including the Tiananmen Mothers. China can honor the memory of that day by moving to give the rule of law, protection of internationally-recognized human rights, and democratic development the same priority as it has given to economic reform.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

June 2, 2009 Resolution in U.S. House

June 2, 2009
U.S. House of Representatives passes H. Res. 489,
for the 20th anniversary of Tiananmen Square

Full text of the resolution:

Recognizing the twentieth anniversary of the suppression of protesters and citizens in and around Tiananmen Square in Beijing, People’s Republic of China, on June 3 and 4, 1989 and expressing sympathy to the families of those killed, tortured, and imprisoned in connection with the democracy protests in Tiananmen Square and other parts of China on June 3 and 4, 1989 and thereafter;

Whereas freedom of expression and assembly are fundamental human rights that belong to all people, and are recognized as such under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

Whereas June 4th, 2009, marks the 20th anniversary of the day in 1989 when the People's Liberation Army and other security forces finished carrying out the orders of Chinese leaders to use lethal force to disperse demonstrators in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square;

Whereas the death on April 15, 1989 of Hu Yaobang, former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, was followed by peaceful protests throughout China calling for the elimination of corruption and acceleration of economic and political reforms, especially freedom of expression, and freedom of assembly; and calling for a dialogue between protesters and Chinese authorities on these issues;

Whereas by early May 1989, citizens advocating publicly for democratic reform across China included not only students, but also government employees, journalists, workers, police, members of the armed forces and other citizens;

Whereas on May 20, 1989, martial law was declared in Beijing after authorities had failed to persuade demonstrators to leave Tiananmen Square;

Whereas during the late afternoon and early evening hours of June 3, 1989, ten- to fifteen thousand helmeted, armed troops carrying automatic weapons and travelling in large truck convoys moved into Beijing to “clear the Square” and surrounding streets of demonstrators;

Whereas on the night of June 3 and continuing into the morning of June 4, 1989, soldiers in armored columns of tanks outside of Tiananmen Square fired directly at citizens and indiscriminately into crowds, inflicting high civilian casualties, and killing or injuring hundreds of unarmed civilians, who reportedly ranged in age from 9 years old to 61 years old; and whereas tanks crushed some protesters and onlookers to death.

Whereas even after 20 years, the exact number of dead and wounded remains unclear; credible sources believe that a number much larger than that officially reported actually died in Beijing during the period of military control; credible sources estimate that the numbers of wounded at least were in the hundreds; detentions at the time were in the thousands, and some political prisoners who were sentenced in connection with the events surrounding June 4, 1989 still languish in Chinese prisons;

Whereas there are Chinese citizens still imprisoned for “counter-revolutionary” offenses allegedly committed during the 1989 demonstrations, even though, according to the 1997 revision of China's Criminal Law, the “offenses” for which they were convicted are no longer crimes.

Whereas the Tiananmen Mothers is a group of relatives and friends of those killed in June 1989 whose demands include the right to mourn victims publicly, to call for a full and public accounting of the wounded and dead, and the release of those who remain imprisoned for participating in the 1989 protests;

Whereas members of the Tiananmen Mothers group have faced arrest, harassment and discrimination; the group’s Web site is blocked in China; and international cash donations made to the group to support families of victims have been frozen by Chinese authorities;

Whereas Chinese authorities censor information that does not conform to the official version of events surrounding the Tiananmen crackdown, and limits or prohibits information about the Tiananmen crackdown from appearing at all in textbooks in China;

Whereas Chinese authorities continue to suppress peaceful dissent by harassing, detaining or imprisoning journalists, advocates for worker rights, religious believers, and other individuals in China, including in Xinjiang and in Tibet who seek to express their political dissent, ethnic identity or religious views peacefully and freely;

Whereas Chinese authorities continue to harass and detain advocates for democratic processes such as Mr. Liu Xiaobo, a Tiananmen Square protester, prominent intellectual, dissident writer, and more recently a signer of Charter 08 (a call for peaceful political reform and respect for the rule of law published on-line last December by over 300 citizens and subsequently endorsed by thousands more), who remains under house arrest.

Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(A) expresses sympathy to the families of those killed, tortured, and imprisoned as a result of their participation in the democracy protests in Tiananmen Square and elsewhere in China on June 3-4, 1989 and thereafter, and all those persons who have suffered for their efforts to keep that struggle alive during the last two decades;

(B) calls on the People’s Republic of China to invite full and independent investigations into the Tiananmen Square crackdown, assisted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the International Committee of the Red Cross;

(C) calls on the legal authorities of the People’s Republic of China to review immediately the cases of those still imprisoned for participating in the 1989 protests for compliance with internationally recognized standards of fairness and due process in judicial proceedings and to release those individuals imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising their internationally-recognized rights;

(D) calls on the People’s Republic of China to end its harassment and detention of and its discrimination against those who were involved in the 1989 protests not only in Beijing, but in other parts of China where protests took place; and to end its harassment and detention of those who continue to advocate peacefully for political reform, like Mr. Liu Xiaobo, a signer of Charter 08 who remains under house arrest, and his wife, Liu Xia.

(E) calls on the People’s Republic of China to allow protest participants who escaped to or are living in exile in the United States and other countries, or who reside outside of China because they have been “blacklisted” in China as a result of their peaceful protest activity, to return to China without risk of retribution or repercussion.

(F) calls on the Administration and Members of the Congress to mark the 20th Anniversary of the events at Tiananmen Square appropriately and effectively by taking steps that include: meeting whenever and wherever possible with participants in the demonstrations who are living in the United States, and meeting with others outside of China who have been "blacklisted" in China as a result of their peaceful protest activities; signaling support for those in China who demand an accounting of the events surrounding June 4th, 1989; and expressing support for those advocating for accountable and democratic governance in China.