Hidden Nook

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Friday, June 03, 2005

Tiananmen Square Anniversary

[Media Source*]

BEIJING (Reuters) - Tight security blanketed China's capital on Saturday, the 16th anniversary of the bloody end to the Tiananmen Square democracy movement, with the leadership fearful of any protest that could threaten its grip on power.

Uniformed and plainclothes police fanned out around the square and dissenters were kept under guard in their homes for the date made more sensitive this year by the death of Zhao Ziyang, a top leader who was ousted for sympathizing with the student demonstrators.

Although the Tiananmen Square massacre was only 16 years ago (to the day almost) China does not have as much to fear as one would thing. With economic reforms bring prosperity to a sizable chunk of the nation, the most China has to worry about are uprisings from the poor and working class of China, many of whom have lost their homes due to the upcoming Olympics.

YE GUOZHU used to own two restaurants in Beijing. Both were razed in 2001, as was his home in the Yongdingmen district of the city two years later, to make way for parks to beautify the Chinese capital for the 2008 Olympics.

Last year Mr Ye sought permission to protest against such forced evictions. He was arrested for "disturbing social order" and sentenced in December to four years in jail. His family have not seen him since and do not know where he is held.

Although Tiananmen Square was a horrific event, the days will probably come and go with little fan fare. China's biggest worry is the displaced citizens, who may riot right before and during the Olympic games or on a more peaceful note stage massive protests against the Communist rulers. Unless China resolves the current issues of "displacement," there may be another Tiananmen Square in the future, and in the age of satellite journalists as well as blogs that can be a bad thing (for the leadership that is).

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