NIU students remember slain Chinese

By Michelle Landrum

The Chinese government said it never happened, but the thousands of Chinese students who saw the corpses and spread the word will not let the Tiananmen Square massacre die.

In remembrance of the Chinese students who were killed this summer, an NIU student demonstration will be held Tuesday and Wednesday. The event is entitled the “Hundredth Day After the June 4 Tiananmen Massacre: In Memories of the Pro-Democracy Heroes.”

A group of Chinese and Hong Kong students on campus organized the commemoration in conjunction with the Student Association, said SA Research Adviser Tom Elkins. The SA’s role is to sponsor the event and help with public relations, Elkins said.

“This is their day,” Elkins said, referring to the Chinese and Hong Kong students’ efforts to organize the commemoration.

SA President Huda Scheidelman said the purpose of the event is “to transform our agitated feeling into meaningful activities…” and “to increase deliberate awareness of the democratic movement in China among students in America.”

A video documentary will be shown all day Tuesday in the Holmes Student Center’s Diversions Lounge. Outside Diversions a series of 100 pictures from events in China will be posted.

The pictures are designed to project a neutral image of the event by showing both government and student perspectives, allowing students “to form an educated opinion on their own,” Scheidelman said.

The photo and video displays examine the chronological events in China leading to the massacre, biographical data on leaders of the events and world reactions to the June 4 massacre.

On Wednesday, NIU faculty members Kevin Anderson and Richard Quinney of the sociology department and Brantly Womack of the political science department will take part in a panel discussion at 7 p.m. in the HSC’s Sandburg Auditorium. Four students also are scheduled to speak on the panel.

Elkins said he thinks the Chinese students’ desire for democracy “hasn’t blown over.”

“Every time you move toward democracy, there are violent episodes. These episodes stay in the minds of the people until they reach a breaking point,” he said.