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Monday, June 2, 2014

A Call to Action on 25th Anniversary of Tiananmen Square and the Beijing Massacre

 “This is for the lost souls of June 4th.” - Liu Xiaobo, 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Lecture

Intellectuals, incl. Liu Xiaobo, started hunger strike in Tiananmen Sq.
 Dear Friends in Freedom,

As the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Crackdown and the Beijing Massacre on June 3-4, 1989 the Free Cuba Foundation reaffirms its solidarity with the Chinese Pro-Democracy Movement.

We call on friends of freedom everywhere to do three things over the next three days:
1. Denounce arrest of Chinese activists and human rights defenders in ongoing crackdown to silence voices on 25th anniversary and at the same time ask about the plight of remaining political prisoners imprisoned during the 1989 student protests over social media and via petitions.

2. Join in a global prayer action for China and post photos, videos, audios, and writings about what you did. Initiatives for China, an independent non-governmental organization, has proclaimed June 4, 2014 as a Global Prayer Day for China obtaining the support of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Former Taiwanese President Lee Tenghui. A suggested prayer is available online here.

3. Share videos of documentaries on the  Tiananmen Square protests, the crackdown and massacre, and the aftermath. For example, Tiananmen Mothers, a group of family members of those killed during the violent crackdown on the 1989 Democracy Movement produced a short documentary: "Portraits of Loss and the Quest for Justice"in which the stories of six victims are told by their family members, and two survivors provide their own testimony. It can be viewed online here.
 The Free Cuba Foundation since its founding recognized that being "victims of totalitarianism we share a bond with other captive peoples past and present who are our brothers and sisters in this struggle for freedom."

On the tenth anniversary of  Tiananmen Square Crackdown and Beijing Massacre in 1999 we released the following statement:
We, FlU members of the Free Cuba Foundation, honor the victims, primarily students, who sacrificed their lives for freedom, democracy, and reform ten years ago in China.
As students we feel a connection to those thousands of Chinese students who exercised their fundamental rights to associate and speak freely. They paid the highest price for freedom with their very lives.
On June 4, 1989 the Chinese military murdered thousands of unarmed students as they violently crushed the non-violent student gathering. We will never forget this heinous crime.
We repudiate the brutal actions of the government of communist China and call on the civilized world to hold all those responsible for this atrocity, and to call for justice for the students and Chinese people slaughtered ten years ago in the streets of Tiananmen square. 
On International Human Rights Day in 2003 the Free Cuba Foundation co-hosted along with the Cuban Committee for Human Rights the visit of Chinese human rights activist Harry Wu to Florida International University. During the visit Harry Wu announced his support for the Cuban embargo , while denouncing the lack of such a policy toward China. According to Wu, the majority of the profits have been funneled directly to "dying Communist institutions," thus prolonging their lives."

On the twentieth anniversary of Tiananmen on June 3, 2009 we co-hosted along with FIU Students for a Free Tibet, and UM CAUSA: Students United for a Free Cuba, Falun Gong, and Miami Friends of Tibet a presentation of the documentary "Tank Man" holding a discussion ending in a candlelight vigil reading off a partial list of victims, signed a formal statement and a moment of silence that ended at 10:31pm. A minute after the tanks entered the square and shooting began.

If you live in the Washington, DC area then Please join the Laogai Research Foundation in remembering the victims of the June 4th, 1989 turmoil
When: Today, June 2nd through June 4, 2014 from 4-6:30pm
Where: 1734 20th St., Washington D.C., 20009
Event starts at 4pm every afternoon
Tiananmen Square Massacre Photos will be exhibited
Film screening of the PBS Frontline Documentary The Tank Man from 5pm to 6:30pm
Refreshments will be served.
Please send an email with the subject “RSVP” to museum@laogai.org to RSVP.

Today we issue this call to action, prayer and reflection on behalf of our Chinese brothers and sisters who struggled and continue to struggle for freedom in China. We remember the thousands killed on the night of June 3rd and early morning of June 4th 1989 and the estimated one thousand issued death sentences and executed in the aftermath. We also remember those imprisoned for exercising their internationally recognized human rights.

June 5, 1989: man blocks a column of tanks following June 3-4 massacre
 Below are links to sites related to Tiananmen Square and the June 1989 Beijing Massacre:

A Brief Chronology of the 1989 Democracy Movement and Crackdown in Beijing
http://www.hrichina.org/en/content/3720

Restrictions, Detentions, and Disappearances before June 4, 2014
http://www.hrichina.org/en/restrictions-detentions-and-disappearances-june-4-2014

Congressional Hearing: Survivors of Tiananmen Sq. Massacre Testify on 25th Anniversary
http://www.initiativesforchina.org/?p=1727

Criminal Detentions Ahead of Tiananmen Anniversary Highlight Broader Trends
http://laogai.org/news/criminal-detentions-ahead-tiananmen-anniversary-highlight-broader-trends

Tiananmen Initiative Project
http://www.june4commemoration.org/resources3616428304/category/tiananmen-initiative-project

In pictures: Beijing's Tiananmen Square protests
http://www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures-27410482

Stand off At Tiananmen
http://www.standoffattiananmen.com/

Virtual Museum of China '89
http://www.cnd.org/June4th/
http://museums.cnd.org/China89/

Non-Governmental Organizations
Initiatives for China                http://www.initiativesforchina.org/
Laogai Research Foundation  http://www.laogai.org/
Human Rights in China          http://www.hrichina.org/en

Documentaries

Tank Man (2006)
Website for documentary: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tankman/
Youtube Video: http://youtu.be/HNtA8RZ1FAA

Gate of Heavenly Peace (1995)
Website for documentary: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/gate/
Part 1: http://youtu.be/3raWkRVpehk
Part 2: http://youtu.be/UpaRHMW8xjM

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