Remembering the Tiananmen Square Massacre

Chris Linnett SYffvWP6DHk Unsplash Copy

Chris Linnett SYffvWP6DHk Unsplash CopyThis week, the Libertas Council remembers the Tiananmen Square Massacre and those who lost their lives 35 years ago. On June 4, 1989, over 200,000 soldiers from China’s People’s Liberation Army opened fire in Tiananmen Square on peaceful protesters calling for reforms. These protestors were students, workers, and intellectuals. Yet most importantly, they were brothers, sisters, daughters, sons, neighbors, and friends. Due to intense governmental pressure and censorship, it is not possible to confirm the exact number of deaths. To this day, the Chinese government subjects those who speak out about the massacre to weighted surveillance, prison, or exile.

To mark the anniversary, it was an honor for the Libertas Council to welcome Mr. Piero Tozzi, Staff Director of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, for a discussion on the historic event. Mr. Tozzi also spoke about current responses and policies in China. When reflecting on the massacre, Mr. Tozzi stressed the importance of memory. Throughout history and across cultures, the act of remembrance actualizes the tragedy for those in the present.

Standing for freedom today requires us to remember and speak out about the events of June 4, 1989, particularly when those most impacted are unable to.

To learn more about the massacre that took place in Tiananmen Square, please visit:


Headshot ROD CopyRachel Oussoren-Dieter lives in the Netherlands, with her husband and their six bikes. She spends her working hours at ZOA, a Dutch humanitarian aid and development organization working in conflict zones and fragile contexts. In her non-working hours, she is most likely deep in a book. Originally from Minnesota, she holds a degree in international relations from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, and a master’s in international conflict and security studies, specializing in international law, from the University of Kent’s Brussels School of International Studies.

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