Remembering June 4th: Who died, where, and why

Today is the anniversary of the June 4th, 1989 massacre in Beijing. I don’t call it the Tiananmen Square massacre for reasons that will be clear once you read this excellent eyewitness account by Robin Munro, who I know personally to be a reliable observer. Some people say, “Hey, there was a massacre, right? Why carp about where it happened?” Well, there are three reasons, I guess. First, if you say the actual facts don’t matter about this event, why should anyone trust your purportedly factual account of any other event? Second, if you make claims about the Beijing massacre that are easily disproved, you play into the hands of the denialists. It’s like supporting your warning about global warming by claiming that Miami is already underwater. Third, and most important, if you don’t know who died and where, and think it was all students in the Square, you really don’t understand what happened in all its significance. So please read this article if you haven’t already: Robin Munro, Remembering Tiananmen, The Nation, June 2, 2009.