If you could time travel back to 1989, would you take part in the student movement?

By RFA staff
If you could time travel back to 1989, would you take part in the student movement? Demonstrators parade past the portrait of Mao Tse-Tung as they head to a rally in Tiananmen Square, May 18, 1989.
(Sadayuki Mikami/AP)

JUNE 4, 2024 MARKS 35 YEARS since a student demonstration at Tiananmen Square and a brutal crackdown in its aftermath shocked a generation. On the anniversary of the protest, Radio Free Asia asks our Chinese readers: if you went back to 1989, would you participate?

“I would have stepped onto Tiananmen Square because we all know that this country and people are at a critical moment of life and death. If even young people do not stand up, who knows whether or not we would be on a more desperate road?”  — High school student, Qingdao

“I was arrested for participating in June 4th, and as a result of a government policy I cannot collect a pension because of it — but I would do it again.”  — Lao jiahuo@teapot_wen

“I appreciated the swift suppression of the rioters during the June 4th protest. Otherwise, China would have become another Soviet Union! ”  — Seaskyblue@SeaSkyblue_T

“Why bother time traveling when there is already a student movement happening now? You can participate.”  — 福西西@fuxixi521

“I arrived in Beijing on the day martial law was declared. I spent a night on the square and witnessed the clashes near the Great Hall of the People and so on. I cannot say that the majority of students like me were wrong, but I am very glad that it [the protest] failed.”  — myylwx@myylwx


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