Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Remembering June 04, 1989

Over 180,000 people were at Hong Kong’s Victoria Park on June 04, 2013 to mourn those who died in a military crackdown on a pro-democracy movement at Tiananmen Square 24 years ago. Then, troops opened fire on demonstrators and sent in tanks to crush a student-led, pro-democracy movement, killing hundreds. Image credit: Sung Pi Lung/The Epoch Times

Hong Kong is the only place in China where the 1989 protests are openly commemorated. Image credit: Bobby Yip/Reuters

Twenty-four years later, many still remember the June 04, 1989 incident – the Chinese government's bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Chinese Communist party authorities, fearing a threat to their legitimacy, are forbidding open discussion of the said event.

Yet Netizens have reacted by using ever-more oblique references to commemorate the tragedy, treating censors to an elaborate game of cat-and-mouse.

Monday, June 5, 1989: a Chinese man blocks a line of tanks on Beijing's Cangan Boulevard in Tiananmen Square. He was pulled away by bystanders. Photograph: Jeff Widener/Associated Press

A Lego version of AP's photo. Photograph: Twitter/

Twitter image mocking Chinese censorship of Tiananmen Square, adapted from AP's 1989 photograph (the search term 'Big Yellow Duck' is banned). Photograph: Twitter/

Many of their posts have been embedded in pictures, which can often elude automatic detection: a girl with her hand over her mouth; a Lego man facing down three green Lego tanks; the iconic "tank man" picture with its tanks photoshopped into four giant rubber ducks, a reference to a well-known art installation in Hong Kong's Victoria harbour.

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