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
标题:天安门屠杀十四周年  华盛顿""烛光纪念

Original Language Version: Chinese
(English at beginning, Chinese version at the end)
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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 over
100 participants. The speakers included US Congressman Sherrod Brown; Mr. Wei,
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
Tiananmen Square.

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 trip to
Washington 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
Hong Kong 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 firmness."

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 issue.)




天安门屠杀十四周年  华盛顿""烛光纪念


烛光纪念会由全美学自联易丹轩主持,一百多名中外人士出席。参加纪念会并发表演讲的有:美国国会议员谢洛布朗(Sherrod Brown)、中国民主运动海外联席会议主席魏京生、全侨民主和平联盟主席巫和怡、八九学生领袖王丹、美利坚大学研究员高瞻及香港民主党前主席、立法委员李柱铭。









在烛光纪念会上,学自联宣布将2003年度全美学自联自由精神奖授予刚刚在北京获释的八九学生领袖江棋生。在六四镇压后,江棋生因为代请愿学生与政府对话首次入狱。一九九九年,他因为公开呼吁平反""被再度判刑四年。全美学自联在授奖辞中指称:"在中共极权统治下的中国,臣民奴性十足,精神哑巴、聋子和盲人充斥。然而有醒者、强者和勇者,不做臣民,要做公民。" 授奖辞称颂江棋生两度蒙难,却无畏无惧,并大声宣告,勇做公民的代言人。全美学自联将第三届"自由精神奖"授予江棋生这位"民族的楷模,以表彰他的信念、他的执着、他的坚韧"








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