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Tell the Truth, Refuse to Forget, Lies Written in Ink Cannot Conceal the Facts Written in Blood On the 31st Anniversary of the June Fourth Massacre

June 1, 2020

[English translation by Human Rights in China]

This year, 2020, is the 31st anniversary of the June Fourth massacre that took place in Beijing, China, in 1989. We will not forget the tragedy. That year, in peacetime, the Chinese government mobilized our nation’s military force—a force flaunted as "people's soldiers"—and deployed tanks and armored vehicles on Chang'an Avenue. On their way to Tiananmen Square, the troops opened fire randomly, ignoring crowds that lined the streets. They fired even at the students at Liubukou in Xidan who had retreated from Tiananmen Square. The troops first sprayed poisonous gas containing nerve-numbing agents to render people unconscious and then moved the tanks to crush the crowds, in bloody scenes of unparalleled brutality and inhumanity.

In a movement that had begun in April, around the time of the death of Hu Yaobang, the former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, to the bloody crackdown on June 4, the students were always peaceful and rational in their petition for dialogue with the government. Outside the capital, students in many provinces and cities across the country also came forward to express their solidarity with the students in Beijing. This was the most magnificent and unprecedented student movement in modern Chinese history.

The students raised these demands: End to corruption and bureaucratic turpitude, democracy and freedom, official asset transparency, the right to speak freely, and a fair and equitable dialogue between the people and the government. The demands found great resonance throughout the society. Looking back, from 1979 to 1989, in the ten years of Reform and Opening-up policies that transformed the national economy from a planned economy to a market economy, the real beneficiaries of the reform were the extreme few who held power in their hands. This social injustice had caused dissatisfaction among the people. As a result, citizens from all walks of life participated in the marches, raised questions about people's livelihood, demanded citizens’ right to know, and made suggestions about people's livelihood. They proposed speeding up political reform, allowing freedom of the press and, grasping the true meaning of government, returning governance to the people. This was a moment of great awakening that brought forth questions and thoughts among the people about the social problems that had accumulated in the ten-year ravage of the Cultural Revolution.

It was unbelievable that the government completely ignored the voices and opinions of the people: it avoided the core substance and dwelled only on the trivial by only addressing the governance issue. It demanded the students withdraw from Tiananmen Square unconditionally. The government's demand was rejected by the students because they worried that, following their unconditional withdrawal, the government would come after them to settle scores. And the citizens of Beijing bore witness to the entire course of the 1989 student movement and the June Fourth massacre.

Our children and loved ones were killed in the June Fourth massacre. For 31 years, every family of the victims has lived in the mid of this suffering and life’s arduousness. We, as citizens of this country and relatives of the victims, have every reason to question the Chinese ruling party and the Chinese government. The government bears unavoidable responsibility for the harm done to all the citizens through the bloody tragedy that year. Legally, you owe the people accountability, and morally, you owe the people an apology. The specific reasons are as follows:

Reason One. The Communist Party of China established a new China in 1949, overthrowing the old system and establishing a new system. Article 5 of the Founding Program (the Common Program of the Chinese People ’s Political Consultative Conference) stipulates that the people of the People ’s Republic of China have the rights to freedom of thought, speech, publication, assembly, association, communication, person, residence, migration, religious belief, and demonstrations. Article 35 of the Constitution of the People ’s Republic of China also clearly provides the same: Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, publication, assembly, association, procession, and demonstration. If the Chinese ruling Party and the Chinese government have not forgotten their original aspiration, they should abide by and implement the Founding Program and Constitution established in the early days of the founding of the country. However, in its highly centralized rule, the CPC has long forgotten the sacred rights conferred to citizens by the Constitution. We believe that the student movement of that year did not exceed the scope permitted by the law. If the government had conscientiously listened to the opinions of the people, instead of ending the student movement in such a cruel and barbaric manner, the process of civilizing the Chinese society would have accelerated its pace to integrate with the civilized society of the world, and the corruption in Chinese officialdom would not have been so rampant.

Reason Two. The politics of "the Elders" was most vividly manifested in their decision on the June Fourth tragedy. The government's functional departments were in chaos. The government of a civilized society resolves social contradictions in accordance with the law, and resolving social contradictions is the daily responsibility of a government. However, what we saw was the total disregard of the law by those who were enthroned as the older generation of proletariat revolutionaries, who ignored the lives of the people and the existence of government functions. Even though those old revolutionaries had already stepped down and yielded their power, they were allowed to wield the power of life and death of the people at will, and brand citizens as "counter-revolutionary rioters" and elements "endangering state power" at will, according to the needs of the ruling class.

Reason Three. We have to ask the Chinese ruling party and the Chinese government: Which civilized Chinese law expressly confers the government the right to use state military force to kill, at will, students and civilians in peaceful demonstrations? The Constitution provides that state military power is exercised by authorization by the National People’s Congress. At that time, the students repeatedly called for a special meeting of the Standing Committee of the People’s Congress to vote on the use of the army to carry out the crackdown. The government ignored the students’ appeals. We want to know exactly where and when the counterrevolutionary riots occurred? Where is the evidence? Who commanded the riots? What is the truth?

Reason Four. To measure the robustness of a civil society, the level of people’s happiness index, the level of civilization, and the freedom of speech are among the most important and necessary conditions. A large nation that allows only one voice from the authorities and not the diverse voices of the people, and that is blind to the people's well-intentioned criticism and supervision of the government's inadequacies will only produce this result: the unlimited expansion of the authority of those wielding hefty power, who lord over the people from the top and unchecked by the law, with the so-called equality before the law serving as decoration for them.

Over the past 31 years, we have repeatedly called for a legal resolution to a political problem, through fair and equitable dialogues with the government in accordance with the law. The government has remained silent on the June Fourth massacre, without demonstrating the slightest trace of remorse. With the passage  of time, 60 people among our group of victims’ families have passed away. Time can erase our lives, but our group ’s resolve in the pursuit of fairness and justice will not alter. We continue to adhere to our three demands: truth, compensation, and accountability—in order to obtain justice from the government for all the victims of the June Fourth tragedy. The dignity of every single life may not be stripped away and trampled on arbitrarily by power. They are our loved ones and your compatriots.


Signers (124):

尤维洁 You WeiJie 郭丽英 Guo Liying 张彦秋 Zhang Yanqiu
吴丽虹 Wu Lihong 尹 敏 Yin Min 祝枝弟 Zhu Zhidi
叶向荣 Ye Xiangrong 丁子霖 Ding Zilin 张先玲 Zhang Xianling
周淑庄 Zhou Shuzhuang 钱普泰 Qian Putai 吴定富 Wu Dingfu
宋秀玲 Song Xiuling 孙承康 Sun Chengkang 于 清 Yu Qing
孙 宁 Sun Ning 黄金平 Huang Jinping 孟淑英 Meng Shuying
袁淑敏 Yuan Shumin 王广明 Wang Guangming 刘梅花 Liu Meihua
谢京花 Xie Jinghua 马雪琴 Ma Xueqin 邝瑞荣 Kuang Ruirong
张树森 Zhang Shusen 杨大榕 Yang Darong 贺田凤 He Tianfeng
刘秀臣 Liu Xiuchen 沈桂芳 Shen Guifang 谢京荣 Xie Jingrong
金贞玉 Jin Zhenyu 要福荣 Yao Furong 孟淑珍 Meng Shuzhen
邵秋风 Shao Qiufeng 谭汉凤 Tan Hanfeng 王文华 Wang Wenhua
陈 梅 Chen Mei 周 燕 Zhou Yan 李桂英 Li Guiying
徐宝艳 Xu Baoyan 狄孟奇 Di Mengqi 王 连 Wang Lian
管卫东 Guan Weidong 刘淑琴 Liu Shuqin 孙珊萍 Sun Shanping
刘天媛 Liu Tianyuan 黄定英 Huang Dingying 熊 辉 Xiong Hui
张彩凤 Zhang Caifeng 何瑞田 He Ruitian 田维炎 Tian Weiyan
杨志玉 Yang Zhiyu 李显远 Li Xianyuan 王玉芹 Wang Yuqin
曹长先 Cao Changxian 方 政 Fang Zheng 齐志勇 Qi Zhiyong
冯友祥 Feng Youxiang 何兴才 He Xingcai 刘仁安 Liu Ren'an
齐国香 Qi Guoxiang 韩国刚 Han Guogang 庞梅清 Pang Meiqing
黄 宁 Huang Ning 王伯冬 Wang Bodong 张志强 Zhang Zhiqiang
赵金锁 Zhao Jinsuo 孔维真 Kong Weizhen 刘保东 Liu Baodong
陆玉宝 Lu Yubao 齐志英 Qi Zhiying 方桂珍 Fang Guizhen
雷 勇 Lei Yong 葛桂荣 Ge Guirong 郑秀村 Zheng Xiucun
王惠蓉 Wang Huirong 桂德兰 Gui Delan 王运启 Wang Yunqi
黄雪芬 Huang Xuefen 郭达显 Guo Daxian 王 琳 Wang Lin
刘 乾 Liu Qian 朱镜蓉 Zhu Jingrong 穆怀兰 Mu Huailan
王争强 Wang Zhengqiang 宁书平 Ning Shuping 曹云兰 Cao Yunlan
林武云 Lin Wuyun 冯淑兰 Feng Shulan 付媛媛 Fu Yuanyuan
李春山 Li Chunshan 蒋艳琴 Jiang Yanqin 何凤亭 He Fengting
奚永顺 Xi Yongshun 肖宗友 Xiao Zongyou 乔秀兰 Qiao Xiulan
陆燕京 Lu Yanjing 李浩泉 Li Haoquan 赖运迪 Lai Yundi
周小姣 Zhou Xiaojiao 周运姣 Zhou Yunjiao 陈永邦 Chen Yongbang
刘永亮 Liu Yongliang 张景利 Zhang Jingli 孙海文 Sun Haiwen
王 海 Wang Hai 陆三宝 Lu Sanbao 姚月英 Yao Yueying
任改莲 Ren Gailian 倪世殊 Ni Shishu 杨云龙 Yang Yunlong
崔林森 Cui Linsen 吴卫东 Wu Weidong 贾福泉 Jia Fuquan
王德义 Wang Deyi 朱玉仙 Zhu Yuxian 石 晶 Shi Jing
袁 刃 Yuan Ren 包丽梅 Bao Limei 奚贵君 Xi Guijun
钟俊华 Zhong Junhua 轧爱强 Ya Aiqiang 陈卫东 Chen Weidong
郝 建 Hao Jian    


We are including the names of deceased fellow members to honor their wishes (60):

吴学汉 Wu Xuehan 苏冰娴 Su Bingxian 姚瑞生 Yao Ruisheng
杨世钰 Yang Shiyu 袁长录 Yuan Changlu 周淑珍 Zhou Shuzhen
王国先 Wang Guoxian 包玉田 Bao Yutian 林景培 Lin Jingpei
寇玉生 Kou Yusheng 孟金秀 Meng Jinxiu 张俊生 Zhang Junsheng
吴守琴 Wu Shouqin 周治刚 Zhou Zhigang 孙秀芝 Sun Xiuzhi
罗 让 Luo Rang 严光汉 Yan Guanghan 李贞英 Li Zhenying
邝涤清 Kuang Diqing 段宏炳 Duan Hongbing 刘春林 Liu Chunlin
张耀祖 Zhang Yaozu 李淑娟 Li Shujuan 杨银山 Yang Yinshan
王培靖 Wang Peijing 袁可志 Yuan Kezhi 潘木治 Pan Muzhi
萧昌宜 Xiao Changyi 轧伟林 Ya Weilin 刘建兰 Liu Jianlan
索秀女 Suo Xiunü 杨子明 Yang Ziming 程淑珍 Cheng Shuzhen
杜东旭 Du Dongxu 张桂荣 Zhang Guirong 赵廷杰 Zhao Tingjie
陆马生 Lu Masheng 蒋培坤 Jiang Peikun 任金宝 Ren Jinbao
张淑云 Zhang Shuyun 韩淑香 Han Shuxiang 石 峰 Shi Feng
王桂荣 Wang Guirong 隋立松 Sui Lisong 田淑玲 Tian Shuling
孙淑芳 Sun Shufang 陈永朝 Chen Yongchao 孙恒尧 Sun Hengyao
徐 珏 Xu Jue 王范地 Wang Fandi 李雪文 Li Xuewen
王双兰 Wang Shuanglan 张振霞 Zhang Zhenxia 肖书兰 Xiao Shulan
谭淑琴 Tan Shuqin 高 捷 Gao Jie 金亚喜 Jin Yaxi
邢承礼 Xing Chengli 周国林 Zhou Guolin 郝义传 Hao Yichuan


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