the three


23 May 1989: In China, a student-led democracy movement is gathering momentum. It had begun one month before in the capital and from there had spread throughout the entire country. Its activities are centred on the Tiananmen, the Square of Heavenly Peace in Peking. Not only is this where Mao Tse-tung proclaimed the People’s Republic on 1 October 1949, it is also the site of the mausoleum in which, as if to warn against forgetting the achievements of the Long March, the embalmed corpse of the former communist party leader and head of state is contained. It’s no coincidence that the activists have chosen this place to publicize their demands. Tiananmen is simultaneously a forum, a tribune, and a tribunal. Since 13 May, several thousand people have been holding a hunger strike in an attempt to force the government to enter into dialogue with the protesters. Without success.

more from Wolfgang Kraushaar at Eurozine here.