Eighteen Years Later, Memories of Tiananmen Massacre Online

There is no doubt that June 4th Massacre in 1989 still remains the most taboo subject in Chinese cyberspace, from search engines to the blogosphere, from online forums to cellphone chatting sites. Nevertheless, every year, words and photos associated with historical records and participants’ memories are still quietly circulated in cyberspace, especially around this time of year–whether by email, SMS or in trusted online social networks and the “back allies” of cyberspace, before the Internet police take them down. For example, here are photos of two cover pages from the PLA Pictorial in July and August, 1989. The online poster specifically requested that the links to the photos should not be revealed in order to prolong its online existence, but copying and circulation of the images “are most” encouraged.

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Also, Rebecca MacKinnon, associate professor at the University of Hong Kong’s Journalism and Media Studies Centre, just posted “On eBay: Tiananmen Massacre PLA Medal Watch” on her RConversation blog:



On this 18th anniversary of the bloody 1989 crackdown against protesters in Beijing, I received an e-mail from a friend alerting me to the eBay auction page for a 1989 PLA Tiananmen Massacre Medal Watch, previously owned by a Chinese military officer.

Here is the photo and some of the text from this eBay link:

Spring 1989, a million of Chinese students, intellectuals, and labour activists rallied in Peking streets demanding¬†democracy.¬† The demostration was crushed down by the Chinese People’s Libration Army (PLA) at dawn of June 4.¬† It is believed that thousands of students and civilians of Peking were killed in the incident.¬† This medal watch was only awarded to PLA troops who¬†participated the anti-riot action.¬† No local collection specialist has seen it before, it might be the only one existing outside China!

This medal watch belonged to a former¬†PLA officer.¬† Due to security reason, he doesn’t want to release his personal information¬†because he still has close family members in China.

The auction starts at $8,964.18 in memory of the 18th anniversary of the massacre, part of the final price will be donated to Tian’anmen Mothers Campaign (www.FillTheSquare.org).¬† Don’t miss this great¬†opportunity for a real bite of live Chinese democracy movement.

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