The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

and NEIL SMITH On Monday night, the eve of the second anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, two hundred people gathered on College Green to participate in a candlelight vigil in memory of those who died struggling for democracy. "We are here to remember those who laid down their lives for a better country," said third year SAS graduate student Jian Wang, President of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, which organized the vigil. A selection of speakers who combined stories of the brutality of the Communist regime with an optimistic outlook for a better China. Liu Bin Yan, an exiled Chinese journalist, fiercely condemned the massacre's perpetrators and said that social crises could never be solved by force. "Thousands of students were butchered by those who should have died but didn't," he said, adding that "we have not suffered in vain. We are hopeful for the future of China." Vice Provost for University Life Kim Morrisson said that the world witnessed the death of innocent people "whose only crime was their belief in democracy." President of the Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars in the USA Chen Xing Yu called on America to use China's Most Favored Nation status as an economic tool to force the Chinese government to improve human rights in China. Chemistry professor Hai-Lung Dai, called China "a country where political power arises from the barrel of a gun." But he added that "we do have good reason to be optimistic," suggesting the possibility that China might follow the Soviet Union's lead in moving towards democracy. Chen Xiao Yuan, one of the vigil organizers, read a poem which powerfully expressed the tears, fury and burning emotions of her suffering country. "Beijing is raining blood," she said in Mandarin, but she spoke of a new dawn that would cleanse the country of its present evil. After the emotional reading, the band 'Commet Prisongarden' performed three songs, including John Lennon's "Imagine" and a self-penned song called "Tiananmen, Can't Imagine," combining pidgin Mandarin Chinese with English. As the ceremony closed, Wang asked the audience to pray for a better China so that the tragic events of June 1989 would never be repeated. He encouraged the audience to attend a national memorial service in Washington, D.C. the next day. "We will never forget that tragedy," he said. "We don't forget June 4."

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.