Press Release: WUC Commemorates Tiananmen Square Democracy Protesters on the 30th Anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre
Today marks the 30thanniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, where thousands of Chinese protestors were brutally suppressed for holding demonstrations calling for democracy and for their basic human rights to be respected. Students, teachers, activists and civilians were among those killed with estimates ranging from hundreds to ten thousand merely for exercising their right to freedom of assembly and calling for democracy.
The WUC honors the memory of all those demonstrators, who lost their lives striving for democracy and human rights. They were innocent protestors who yearned for democracy, freedom and human rights and were met with violence, intolerance and oppression. They just wanted the same fundamental rights and freedoms that all people should have, due to our common humanity. At the same time, Uyghur students across East Turkistan were holding similar protests, calling for freedom and democracy and dreaming of a brighter future.
However, these peaceful protests were met with a brutal and violent response that would prove to be a major indication of the direction the Chinese government would take in the next 30 years. The deaths of possibly thousands of innocent protestors was a turning point that resulted in a severe escalation in violence and repression of activists in China. In the 30 years since, remaining rights and freedoms were stripped away. Thousands of the brightest minds and most passionate activists from all communities in China disappeared or face lengthily prison sentences. Any attempt to speak out about this horrific treatment has been brutally silence. This is true for all of China and especially for East Turkistan.
Now, 30 years later, the situation for all people living under the control of the Chinese communist party has deteriorated beyond anyone’s imagination. Over 1 million innocent Uyghurs are being held in internment camps and East Turkistan has been effectively turned into an open-air prison. Tibetans and Uyghurs are experiencing a sustained attempt to eradicate the Uyghur and Tibetan identities and assimilate them into the Chinese populations. Hong Kong is losing its autonomy and its rights and freedoms are quickly dissipating. Taiwan is experiencing a potentially existential threat as the CCP seeks forcibly incorporate it. People of all faiths in China are facing heavy persecution and are unable to exercise their right to freedom of religion.
The massacre proved to be not only a human tragedy, but also a major setback to the dream of a free and democratic China. It set China down a road to authoritarianism, violence and intolerance that has gotten worse and worse in the last 30 years. Before the massacre there was great optimism for a brighter future for all peoples under the rule of the CCP.
On the 30thanniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, the WUC calls groups and communities facing repression from the CCP and on the international community as a whole to recognize the crisis occurring China and to work together to enact change. All those who yearn for human rights, freedom and democracy must strive to recapture the spirit and optimism that the those who participated in the democracy protests exhibited and believe that a better China is possible.
“We must redouble our efforts to ensure that our friends, our families, our ethnic groups and all people in China do not continue to suffer,” WUC President Dolkun Isa stated. “We must have hope and speak loudly and confidently to honor the memory of the Tiananmen square protestors and demand a better life for all those under CCP control.”