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!