Saturday, January 5, 2008

Tiananmen Square: From Tanks Killing Students, to Marathoners Racing for Gold

Tiananmen Square (also spelled 'Tienanmen Square'), as most people recall, is where China mowed down protesters against communism. The Chinese government used tanks in 1989 to murder peaceful promoters of democracy.

This happened in the beginning of George HW Bush's presidency, in a year that also saw the Salman Rushdie's stand for freedom against the Ayatollah. In both cases, Bush could nothing. In the case of China, he would have started WWIII.

What will happen during the marathon? I am concerned. The Chinese people have long wanted freedom, but are blocked from such freedom. With the world watching, I imagine the leaders of the freedom movement will look for an opportunity to speak.

With the marathon this year, there will need to be open doors to communications. Internet portals, fax machines, cell phones will be more freely available, and, by sheer force of need, not as monitored.

The marathon is not the only event, magnifying the possibilities from the Red Curtain to be broken. The window of opportunity is small, but not insignificant.

Olympic marathon to begin at Tiananmen Square: state media
BEIJING (AFP) - The marathon at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing will begin from central Tiananmen Square, one of China's most popular tourist spots, state media said Saturday.

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