Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition News and Article Release Issue: A18-G9
Release Date: June 12, 2003
Topic: DC Vigil for the 14th Anniversary of the June 4th Tiananmen Massacre
Original Language Version: Chinese
(English at beginning, Chinese version at the end)
Please visit our website if you have problem to read Chinese in this issue
Candlelight Vigil in Washington DC honoring
the 14th Anniversary of the June 4th Tiananmen Massacre
To commemorate the 14th anniversary of the Tiananmen Democratic Movement and
its bloody suppression by the Chinese communist regime, a candlelight vigil,
"In Memory of June 4th and Never Forget the National Tragedy", was held on
June 1, 2003 at Tiananmen Park in front of the Chinese embassy in Washington
DC. The event was sponsored by over ten organizations, including the
Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars in the US (IFCSS),
the Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition, the Wei JingSheng Foundation, and
the Greater Washington Network for Democracy in China (GWNDC), the Global
Alliance for Democracy and Peace, and the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial.
The candlelight vigil was presided over by Mr. Yi, Danxuan of IFCSS and had
100 participants. The speakers included US Congressman Sherrod Brown; Mr.
Jingsheng, Chairman, Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition (OCDC); Dr. Ho-I
Wu, Chairman, Global Alliance for Democracy and Peace; Wang, Dan, student
leader of the '89 movement; Ms. Gao, Zhan, research fellow of the American
University; and Mr. Martin Lee, former Chairman of the Hong Kong Democratic
Party and a legislator.
The memorial service started with a documentary video titled "We Shall Never
Forget," which faithfully depicted the 1989 Tiananmen Democratic Movement and
its bloody suppression. Participants were visibly moved by the scenes of
totally unarmed students butchered on and around
After the video, a letter to IFCSS from Ms. Ding, Zilin of the Tiananmen
victim groups was read. "14 years have passed since the June 4th Massacre. To
the majority of Chinese, it's already history. However, for 14 years, you
have gathered to commemorate the victims year after year, you have provided
selfless humanitarian aid to the relatives of the victims and the injured and
disabled. We shall never forget your compassion and love."
Mr. Wei, Jingsheng, the Chairman of OCDC stated, "When the democratic
movement is at its low tide, it is most important to hold on to the belief in
justice. No matter what others are saying and doing, we need to be able to
bear the loneliness. In difficult times, persistence is the key."
Mr. Wang, Dan, a student leader of the movement 14 years ago, made a special
to participate in the candlelight vigil held in front of the embassy of the
Chinese regime. "Many had thought that the dictatorship and brutality of the
Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was the internal affair of China and irrelevant
to international affairs," said Wang, Dan. "From the explosive spreading of
SARS and the disasters and chaos it has brought to international society,
people can clearly see the tremendous impact a dictatorial regime sustained
by deception is able to cause to mankind."
US Congressman Sherrod Brown, a member of the US Congressional-Executive
Commission on China praised the courage shown by Wei Jingsheng for his
decades of devotion to Chinese human rights and democracy, as well as these
died during the '89 democratic movement. "When we trade with China, we need
to ensure that the human rights, labor, and environmental conditions in China
are up to good standards," he said. "For the members of the
Congressional-Executive Commission on China who care about human rights, we
believe that to improve human rights situations in China, we need everyone to
step forward, to speak out, and to inform us on the democracy and human
rights situations, which we need to know on an ongoing basis."
Mr. Martin Lee, who had just arrived in Washington, also gave a speech. He
said that for the 14 years, he had participated in every candlelight vigil
held at Victoria Park in Hong Kong on June 4 of each year. "14 years ago, I
was in the million-people demonstration of Hong Kong as a vice president of
the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of
China." This year, for the first time, Mr. Lee missed the 6.4 anniversary in
Hong Kong and made an appearance outside instead - the reason was to lobby
the US government against
legislation Article 23 that is intended to align with the Beijing government
to restrict the freedom and the basic rights of Hong Kong citizens'.
Dr. Ho-I Wu, the Chairman of Global Alliance for Democracy and Peace, brought
with him copies of Time and Newsweek vintage magazines of 1989. The covers
depicted scenes of the June 4th massacre. On the cover of one Time magazine,
a mother was heart-stricken for her son crushed to death by a tank. Dr. Wu
was wearing the same clothes that he wore 14 years ago when joining tens of
thousands of people in a demonstration supporting the students in Beijing. "I
came here every year to grieve over this sad day," Dr. Wu said. He called on
the CCP to give everyone liberties and dignity of life. He mentioned
Catholics and FaLunGong in particular. "One does not have to practice
FaLunGong. But one cannot condone the atrocity of the CCP. CCP should give
FaLunGong the right to exist, and should give social groups freedom of
association," he said.
Ms. Gao, Zhan, a research fellow of the American University who was detained
by the Chinese government for months, came to the event and attended the
whole proceeding even though her baby is almost due. She said, "In the
future, we should forever eliminate the word "over-ruling" when talking about
the June 4th massacre." She stated that asking the CCP regime to "over-rule"
the June 4th event and to give another verdict meant bowing to the power,
meant recognizing its authority and legitimacy, and meant expecting it to be
able to face history and examine, disapprove, and go beyond itself. "I have
to say "No" to that!"
In the candlelight vigil, IFCSS announced the 2003 IFCSS Free Spirit Award
winner, Mr. Jiang, Qisheng, a student leader of '89, who has just been
released from prison. After the June 4th suppression, Mr. Jiang was
imprisoned for holding dialogues with the regime as a student representative.
Then in 1999, he was again jailed for openly appealing to have the June 4th
verdict corrected. This time he received a 4-year sentence. The awarding
statement of IFCSS said, "Under the authoritarian ruling of CCP, Chinese
people are enslaved. Spiritual mutes, deaf, and blind are everywhere.
However, there are still a few who are awake, strong, and brave, who would
rather be citizens than subjects." The statement praised that Mr. Jiang,
although being in prison twice, was still brave and fearless, was speaking
out loudly, and was courageous enough to be an advocate of the citizens.
IFCSS awarded the third Freedom Spirit Award to Mr. Jiang, Qisheng, as "a
model of the nation, to recognize his conviction, his persistence, and his
A song specially composed by Ms. Demian for the June 4th massacre was played
during the candlelight vigil, which was concluded with a chorus of the song,
Wounds of History, by all participants.
(We are grateful for the help and input from IFCSS and DaJiYuan for this