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Tiananmen Mothers Remember

Original post made by Alice, Hoover School, on Jun 2, 2008

This Wednesday marks the 19th anniversary of the military crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square.
One of those gunned down in the mayhem was a young man by the name of Jiang Jielian.
On the night of June 3, 1989, as the Chinese People’s Liberation Army began clearing the Square, Jiang ignored his mother’s pleas for him to stay home.
He struggled out of her arms, ran to the bathroom, locked the door behind him, climbed out of the window, and headed toward Tiananmen. Jiang was shot in the back.
The bullet pierced his heart and he bled to death.
Twenty-four hours earlier he had celebrated his 17th birthday.

To this day, the Chinese government has not acknowledged responsibility for the killing of unarmed citizens; nor has there been an official tally of how many perished in what Chinese media refer to as “the political turbulence of 1989."

Jiang Jielian’s mother, Ding Zilin, refuses to give up hope.
Her only child’s ashes rest in an alcove in the tiny apartment she shares with her husband.
The 71-year-old former professor is the driving force behind Tiananmen Mothers, an advocacy group that regularly petitions China’s leaders and members of parliament for an official apology and full inquiry into the shootings.
Ding’s persistence has made her a target of retaliation and intimidation.
Over the years, she has been subjected to constant surveillance, frequent house arrest, and occasional detention.

Last Wednesday, Tiananmen Mothers launched the group’s official websiteWeb Link.
The digital database includes a roster containing the names and bios of 188 known victims, a virtual monument in their honor, eyewitness accounts, and testimonials from members of the group on their long and tortuous ordeal.

Comments (7)

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Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 2, 2008 at 3:14 pm

Will the local churches be referring to the torture that happened that night, in the square, as they oppose torture?

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Posted by reflecting...
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 2, 2008 at 5:50 pm

Umm...with you on that Gary.

I AM a churchgoing Catholic..and am ashamed that my church is being a patsy for the anti-torture banner. Surely they can't be so naive as to believe that anyone driving by is going to smile approvingly that our church is against all true, anyone driving by is going to assume that our church is condemning America's interrogation techniques and nobody else.

I hope that it doesn't become official church approved by being taped up on our church walls or something. Instead, if the folks who want to support it just stand outside with the banner, at least it will be clear how many in the church support the use of this banner. If it is taped up on the walls for all to see...that will be embarrassing and off-putting.

Like this comment
Posted by Call Dr Zimbado
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 2, 2008 at 6:30 pm

Of course non of these churches will commemorate the murders in China,
their political expression is limited to left wing and anti American causes

I look froward to the English version of the web site referenced in the post, it says it is coming soon

Good post we need to remember who we are dealing with in china

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Ventura
on Jun 3, 2008 at 1:35 pm

So, Reflecting, do I understand you correctly that you are *proud* of US torture under our current regime and that you feel that this position is congruent with your religious beliefs?

I guess we're really not too far past the Middle Ages, are we?

Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 3, 2008 at 1:52 pm


Speaking for myself, I fully approve of using waterboarding, selectively by the CIA, to prevent immense levels of cruelty and destruction. Why don't you?

Since GWB understands this highly moral stance, that makes me proud of him. If Obama or McCain prohibits waterboarding, under all circumstances, and this stance allows another 9-11 (or worse), this would be a highly immoral stance. Would you be proud of that, Resident?

I thought the idea was to progress into a future where mass murder was prevented. You seem to want a return to a model, like the Middle Ages, where mass slaughter is A-OK.

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Ventura
on Jun 3, 2008 at 2:49 pm

Anyone capable of posting the following sentence (w/out intentional
irony and sarcasm) is clearly detached from reality, so I'm not
going to try to debate you:

"Since GWB understands this highly moral stance, that makes me proud of him."

Insetad, for the benefit of anyone else reading this thread,
I'd like post a short excerpt from an interview w/ William Cavanaugh, a professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas, in
order to document that your perverted morality is outside
the mainstream of Catholic thinking (see Web Link
for the entire interview).

(Although it is true that the Catholic church used "waterboarding"
during the Spanish Inqusition. Or do you support that, too?)

For the record, I'm neither a Catholic nor a Christian.


From a Catholic perspective, why is torture immoral?

Catholic teaching describes torture as an affront to basic human dignity. It is unquestionably immoral to take apart a person’s physical and mental integrity by inflicting pain.

Some try to justify torture by acknowledging that, while it’s an evil, it averts a greater evil. This has been ruled out in Catholic moral thinking. Pope John Paul II’s 1993 encyclical Veritatis Splendor (On the Church’s Moral Teaching) makes it quite clear that you cannot commit an act that is intrinsically evil for a greater good, and he lists torture as an intrinsic evil. Once something has been labeled an intrinsic evil, there isn’t any kind of calculus that can justify it.

Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 3, 2008 at 3:34 pm

For the record and Resident,

I am not a Catholic, thus I am not bound by papal encyclicals. Sounds like you two are though...thus you both oppose abortion, and homosexual acts, right?

I DO believe in the greater good, even if it takes a little evil to achieve it. I sleep very well at night, with my morally superior position. Just to be clear, what would you two tell the parents of a son or daughter who gets killed in the next 9-11, if it could have been prevented by effective interogation methods, like waterboarding? You seem to be dodging that question.

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