Universities in China have closed their campuses for weeks as part of China’s harsh anti-pandemic policy. Many students from Universities protested the policy.
Students of Peking university have started a protest movement.
Students gathered at midnight on May 15 to protest the university’s construction of a wall to constrain the pandemic.
Radio France International reported that the university built the wall without soliciting students’ opinions. The wall left students unable to go to eat in the student dormitory’s cafeteria or even order take-away.
Sound Of Hope reported that Chen Baojian, the Party Committee’s deputy secretary and Peking University’s vice president, showed up at the demonstration scene shortly later. He asked the students to disperse and return to the dormitory.
He promised to solve the problem, but the students responded to Chen’s remarks with boos. Then they shouted to tear down the wall together, followed by the banging sound.
According to RFI, the vice-president finally joined the students in dismantling the wall. Shortly after the incident, Weibo posts and videos related to Peking University were all blocked.
Following Peking University’s footsteps, students of other universities also protested against the harsh covid policy.
On May 23, Students from the China University of Political Science and Law protested, demanding the university’s permission to return home for online classes.
Protest organizers encouraged participating students to play the song “Do You Hear the People Sing?” on their mobile phones during the protest.
The university then released a notice that approved students’ applications to leave the school.
Students from Beijing Normal University protested to raise similar demands.
On the evening of May 24, hundreds of students of Bejing Normal University gathered at the school stadium.
They subsequently march around the campus, asking the school to clarify students’ final exams and vacation time. They also wanted to return home for online classes.
The school administrators then promised to allow students to apply to leave the school. Some students record a video at the time as proof.
Related posts about the protest on Weibo were quickly deleted within the day.
In this regard, U.S.-based Chinese writer Fang Shimin 方是民 refers to the protest to the democracy protests at Tiananmen Square in 1989.
Under the zero covid policy, China not only closed schools but also closed Beijing’s most famous tourist destination – Tiananmen Square.
Beijing Tiananmen Square Management Committee announced on May 24 to suspend visits to the Square from May 25 to June 15. The committee claims that the measure is to deter the virus’s spread.
According to the Central News Agency, this is the first time that Tiananmen Square has been closed due to the outbreak.
Around this time last year, the Chinese regime suspended a Hong Kong museum commemorating the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
In 2020, The Chinese Communist regime used the same COVID-19 prevention as a reason to justify the ban of Tiananmen Square massacre memorial events in Hong Kong.
Since 1989, Public tributes to the Tiananmen Square massacre have been prohibited on the Chinese mainland. The events of June 4 have been erased from Chinese history books.
Any criticism of the crackdown is heavily suppressed because the Tiananmen Square massacre is China’s indelible stain.
On May 13, 1989, hundreds of student protestors in Tiananmen Square went on hunger strike. They wanted to talk with Communist Party authorities about their demand for reform. Around one million Chinese joined the protests with them.
On May 19, party leaders visited the student protests. That evening, the demonstrators ended their hunger strike. Chinese authorities sent in martial law to stop the uprising the next day.
Hundreds of thousands of Chinese came to Tiananmen Square on June 2, 1989. They gathered around a 10-meter replica of the Statue of Liberty called the Goddess of Democracy, and they demanded democracy despite martial law in Beijing.
On the evening of 3–4 June 1989, Chinese tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square. As they approached the demonstrations, troops opened fire on crowds of protesters and onlookers, giving no warning before they started shooting.
Amnesty International UK cited John Gittings from the Guardian saying, “The first casualty in the Square was rushed away – a girl with her face smashed and bloody, carried spread-eagled towards the trees. Another followed—a youth with a bloody mess around his chest.”
Lü Jinghua was at the Square when the tanks rolled in. She told Amnesty International, “I heard bullets whizz past and people getting shot. One body fell by me, then another. I ran and ran to get out of the way. People were crying out for help, calling out for ambulances. Then another person would die.”
As the troops kept firing into the crowds, some of those running away were shot in the back. Others were crushed to death by military vehicles. No one knew the death toll from Tiananmen that night.
An eyewitness account from a protester said, “We took the wounded on stretchers and went down [Tiananmen] Square. As we went down the side of the Square, we saw soldiers with large plastic bags. They were putting people in the bags. I could not tell how many people.”
Another protester said, “There were also people surrounded by soldiers, being kicked by them. I could hear shouts and the odd gunshot. I thought there were around 200 young people. In early July, I heard from Public Security [police] sources that they had all been executed on June 9 in a rural district near Beijing. They included students and residents of Beijing.”
Immediately after the military crackdown, the Chinese authorities began to hunt down those involved in the demonstrations. They issued a list of 21 individuals “wanted” for their role in organizing the protests. Thousands of people were detained, tortured, imprisoned, or executed after unfair trials charged with ‘counter-revolutionary’ crimes.
Number One on that list was Wang Dan. Chinese Authorities jailed him for six years.
He said, “We were a generation concerned about the political situation. We cared about our political future. We never expected the government would send in the troops against their own people. We thought they only wanted to frighten us.”
Amnesty USA cited Francisco Bencosme, the Asia Pacific Advocacy Manager at Amnesty International USA, saying, “The brutal scenes of troops from the People’s Liberation Army firing live ammunition on civilians peaceably calling for change at Tiananmen Square shocked the world, even with so much of the details aggressively covered up by the Chinese government.”