【SNAPSHOTS 2018 | #1】六四[For English version, please scroll down]
作為近代中國史上最悲壯的學生運動，由和平示威演化成武裝清場，六四事件深深撼動着每一個對國家和社會有抱負的青年的心弦。隨著事件發生二十九年，再有文件 (Contemporary British Report from M H Farr) 質疑當年的武裝行動的必要性。雖然事件最終落得悲劇收場，大眾普遍認為這群不幸喪生的學生皆是對國家愛之深，恨之切的莘莘學子。要求替學生平反、正名的聲音此起彼落，二十九載從未消散。近日「天安門母親」在其公開信中重申：「儘管在維護做人的尊嚴、尋找公平正義的道路上荊棘滿途，他們定必堅定前行。」
【SNAPSHOTS 2018 | #1】The June-Fourth Event
The June-Fourth incident is one of the most tragic events in modern Chinese history, where demonstrations of passionate university students in Beijing turned into scenes of tanks and guns being employed in Tiananmen Square, Beijing. Contemporary British report from M H Farr, which has been recently released by The National Archives, noted the People’s Liberation Army’s ‘inability to exploit the chances of almost bloodless victory’, and in fact was ‘firing indiscriminately’.
While the casualty remains unknown, it is clear that the students were fighting for the betterment of China: their discontent towards corruption and bureaucracy, and their pursuit of freedom and democracy in China. Voices both within the Greater China region and the West have been seeking for an official reassessment and redress for the incident. The ‘Tiananmen Mothers’, a group comprising the parents, friends and relatives of victims of the incident, has recently received donations from ‘Humanitarian China’ and England’s ‘June 4 Foundation’. In an open letter, the group noted that:
‘For 29 years we’ve been upholding our own human dignity as we walk a hard road in search of fairness and justice.’
CUHKCAS is a society that has its foundation rooted in response to the June-Fourth incident. Just like the ‘Tiananmen Mothers’, we persist in defending fairness and justice, including human rights and democracy in Hong Kong and China. Whilst there has been a decline in youth participation in vindicating the June-Fourth demonstrators, our historical linkage with the incident remains what defines our society.
Looking back to Hong Kong, people from all political and social backgrounds are similarly pursuing greater freedom and democracy. It is fortunate that these movements did not turn into violence and military actions of such a large scale, but we should bear in mind the historical lessons from the June-Fourth incident and reflect upon recent political events.
It is saddening to see a decline in youth’s interests in the incident, including views amongst university students in Hong Kong that redress for the June-Fourth incident should not be the duty of Hong Kong people, and that there are more proximate issues that we should focus on. The absence of attendance from Hong Kong university student societies in the memorial is disheartening, especially when no alternative forums are held by student societies this year in Hong Kong.
Perhaps this ties into the greater problem of the education system. The recent ‘Revised Curriculum Frameworks of Junior Secondary Chinese History and History Curricula’ has once again neglected prominent issues such as the June-Fourth incident and the Hong Kong 1967 Leftist Riots. As university students, we understand that education is the primary source of knowledge for children, and moulds the minds of our future society. There are controversies over secondary school students’ ignorance of the incident, as a political party’s video has shown; what problems, if there are any, is this showing?
It is true that the June-Fourth incident is a historical problem, but its 29 years of history should not be a deterrent of the pursuit of fairness and justice for the demonstrators.
Lest we forget.
Photo credits: Jeff Widener/AP