“How could a peaceful protest lead to such chaos?”

Please go read this post that a commenter here just wrote on his own blog. Absolutely devastating. Then read some of his other posts about 6/4 and the day after. He’s been commenting here for a long time; very, very moving.

On another note, I just saw the NYT article about Tiananmen Square with a somewhat sensationalist headline and the tone annoyed me, as “swarmed” implies motion, activity – and there was none. It was just another nice day at the Square, except there were zillions of undercover police and everywhere. Obviously if you tried to bring in a big video camera they’d stop you, but they weren’t checking passports or bothering anybody that I could tell (nor have I heard of any reports of harassment). It confirmed what we already new: this day would pass like any other.

A better eyewitness account of a visit to the Square today can be found here. We were both there at the same time this morning and we agreed, the scene was remarkably harmonious.

The Discussion: 13 Comments

(edited for hate speech. Nan-h does not like China. We know)

June 5, 2009 @ 3:14 am | Comment


Wow, always willing to diss the country where you make your money. As much as the government used to piss me off, China is a country I loved living in, and it doesn’t deserve that kind of language. Stop the hate train, I want to get off!

June 5, 2009 @ 3:23 am | Comment

I think I might have to exercise my rarely used perogative as site monitor on that comment.

June 5, 2009 @ 6:05 am | Comment

The Great Otherlisa Firewall

June 5, 2009 @ 7:56 am | Comment

Yep, that’s me…Nan-h is welcome to comment, but not like that.

June 5, 2009 @ 8:04 am | Comment

Richard, there’s a post going around some of the lists from a German woman who says she was beaten in the square on the fourth after she talked to two Financial Times reporters, and reported the incident at the German embassy there. If I can track it down and get permission I will post it here.


June 5, 2009 @ 1:07 pm | Comment

Michael, in the June 4 Thread comments I posted an FT link about their experience in the Square – no mention of any beating. I have to say categorically that it was impossible to be beaten in the square yesterday without it being very visible and very big news, considering that reporters and their assistants were all over the square all day. Now, taking her away from the square and beating her in a cheap hotel room is not inconceivable, but doing so in Tiananmen Square on the one day when the entire world is fixated on it sounds to me extremely unlikely, and I’m fairly confident the police were instructed that if they felt they had to beat someone they should do so discreetly and out of sight.

June 5, 2009 @ 5:48 pm | Comment

Her name begins with K Richard. She’s a freelancer for a number of radio stations and relatively well known in Beijing media circles. While it may not have been a beating, she was slapped on the face a couple of times. I met her today. She has reported to the German embassy. Just because you didn’t see it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Or am I wrong – I mean many people saw June 3/4th, and apparently that never happened either…

June 5, 2009 @ 11:54 pm | Comment

Michael, I didn’t have to see it but somebody did; that could not have been invisible. Anything is possible, and it’s not that I don’t believe that she said this to you – I am sure she did. but it sounds very sketchy to me – why would they slap a foreign journalist in full view of a public square full of journalists? Even odder, why didn’t she or anyone else do a story about it; I mean, maybe they shot people yesterday, too, but I’m not going to put it up or argue about it until I have at least the slightest bit of evidence, even circumstantial. I also know how the definition of a word like “slapped” can mean different things. It can mean someone from CNN tried to walk into the square with a camera and someone stood in front of them and pushed them back. Or it can mean an aggressive, pro-active assault. I would love to hear more about this; it’s the kind of thing I’d like to post about, but not until I have at least a few of the basics, like who, what, where when and, if possible, why.

June 6, 2009 @ 1:11 am | Comment

I kinda wanna know what nanhe kebab said. I’m not a masochist. But I’ve seen much colorful racist stuff against Asians over the years, so I’m just being curious.

June 6, 2009 @ 3:01 am | Comment

That German woman should call the wambulance.

June 6, 2009 @ 3:39 am | Comment

wooddoo, I don’t even remember Nahe’s exact wording at this point. It was just his typically hate-filled “everyone should die” type of remark. Not helpful. Not enlightening. Not funny.

When he chooses to, he brings up interesting and even relevant stuff, but he’s not choosing to do that, and I’ve had enough of hate-filled name-calling.

June 6, 2009 @ 5:43 am | Comment

Totally agree, and he and anyone else will always get “censored” if their conversation doesn’t rise above the level of “Fxxx China!” – or “Fxxx the Jews” or “Fxxx the Westerners” or any other group of people. And this has nothing to do with censorship but with freedom of speech – my freedom to run my blog that I pay for exactly as I choose, with the posts and the comments I choose. Of course, 99.9 percent of the comments appear, but there’s no guarantee if you’re going to do what Nanhe did. This is not a bulletin board where people can come and lobby for the death of China.

June 6, 2009 @ 12:03 pm | Comment

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