China's liberal bloggers and intellectuals celebrated the country’s 64th National Day on Tuesday by hosting online vigils in remembrance of victims of the Tiananmen Square crackdown that took place on June 4, 1989.
Bloggers jumped at the rare chance to mention and discuss the word “64”, referring to June 4th, allowed by online censors though still strictly monitored, by paying condolences to the students and civilians who died in the 1989 incident.
“64, hard to forget,” a Zhejiang blogger wrote, posting a photo of what looked like an official flower display featuring the number “64” and the Chinese words “hard to forget”.
The photo could have been doctored, some said, or it could have been a picture of a legitimate display by the local government celebrating the national holiday. Yet it offered a message completely in tune with the sentiment of many microbloggers, who quickly reposted it with their own words of support.
The original post and reposts were deleted by weibo censors hours later.
Others took the opportunity to call on the country’s online community to remember the recently executed street hawker Xia Junfeng , whose death has triggered grief and anger among lawyers and bloggers.
Li Guobin, a Shenzhen-based lawyer, in a weibo post that was quickly censored, urged his Chinese compatriots to mourn the countless lives lost since 1949 when the Communist Party came to power.
“Let’s remember the millions of soldiers who have died in the civil war, landlords and 'anti-revolutionaries' killed in political movements, civilians who died in the Cultural Revolution, people who were killed in Tiananmen Square, civilians who died protecting their properties in forced demolitions, and street hawkers who died fighting urban regulation officers.”