June 4th marked the 32nd anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre. To remember the events and analyze what happened and its similarities with today, Daniel Chang, analyst, and Professor Julio M. Shiling, political scientist, both members of El American, talked in an Instagram Live.
The two recalled the beginnings of the protests and how it triggered the massacre. Shiling explained that it was a movement that started in April and went on for at least seven weeks. All this when the Chinese Communist Party pushed for economic changes, which also began to be replicated in social and political spheres.
The historical event is named after the place where the Chinese Army broke up the mobilization: Tiananmen Square, in Beijing, capital of China. The protesters came from different groups, ranging from intellectuals who believed that the government was too repressive and corrupt to city workers who believed that China’s economic reforms had gone too far and that inflation and unemployment were threatening their livelihoods.
Tiananmen Massacre and modern-day regimes
Shiling compared this citizens’ movement to the courage and efforts of citizens in countries such as Cuba, Nicaragua or Venezuela, in the search for freedom. He assured that any effort against repressive systems should be exalted.
“We must always celebrate solemnly remember those heroes who gave their lives for freedom,” said the political scientist.
On May 20, 1989, the Chinese regime declared martial law and on the night of June 3 sent Army tanks and infantry into Tiananmen Square to break up the protest. Estimates of civilian deaths vary, but estimates suggest there were more than 3,000 civilian deaths at the hands of the Chinese regime.