Friday, June 6, 2008

The Value of Liberty: Goddess Democracy 1989

Today, N. reminded me that this week is the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protest and massacre that occured before he was born.

This is our rememberance of the Lone Rebel and our reminder of the cost of liberty...

Students in Beijing erected this statue of the "Goddess Democracy" in 1989 during a peaceful protest.
The students desired freedom of speech and press,
and they also expressed the need to "live a free life."

The communist tyrants that ruled China responded with a show of force, bringing troops and tanks into Tiananmen Square.
In a show of true courage, we see here the Lone Rebel facing down a line of tanks
sent to defeat the protest.

We do not know for sure what the fate of this courageous student was. I remember seeing a picture in Time Magazine of a young man lying on the pavement his head crushed by the tanks. But I cannot find that image and I don't know if it was this young man, who was so willing to give his life for liberty.

The protest was violently put down on June 5th.
Students were beaten and killed by the frightened old men that ruled China.

Their actions clearly showed that their desire for power was greater than their concern for the future.

This is why we are 'boycotting' the Olympic Games this year. We will not watch them, nor will we participate in the hoop-la associated with them. We will not purchase anything from the sponsors of the broadcasts during the Games.

Perhaps our action is meaningless in a larger sense.

But we cannot look at that picture of the Lone Rebel and not be ashamed if we do nothing.

As for our nation's participation in the games, I fear we have sold our birthright of liberty for a mess of pottage in the form of credit for consumer goods.

Is the liberty this Lone Hero offered his life for really worth so little to those of us born in a land "conceived in Liberty?"

Addendum 9 June: Dan over at the Edge of Reason has written a post about the courage of the Unknown Rebel in which he says: "Heroism is not restricted to characters in stories..." I enjoyed his very thoughtful post.


KathyJo said...

"As for our nation's participation in the games, I fear we have sold our birthright of liberty for a mess of pottage in the form of credit for consumer goods."

I'm going to get all Yankee for a moment and just say, "Ayup."

momof3feistykids said...

Wow, that brings back memories. This reminds me a bit of when Nazi Germany hosted the Olympics. Many difficult moral issues here.

Swylv said...

I learned something from this post. And as far as me personally is concerned, I will be boycotting with you.

travelnhsr said...

As a young professinal at the time, I was in Beijing a week before this event. I felt lucky to be home when it happened, but you could feel the electricity in the air. I was at the Univeristy of Beijing on that trip. They were exciting times.

The Travelin' Homeschooler

denise said...

While we wish the athletes the best, we will not be watching the olympics this year either. That idea also ties in with our conscious purchasing in day to day life as well.

That was one of those big events in which I remember where I was and what I was doing at the time-I was in Chicago and was so ill I was pretty much in bed that entire week, and therefore saw so much news coverage...

Dan Edge said...

Thanks for you kind comments about my post.

--Dan Edge

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

You are most welcome, Dan!
I hope some readers of my post will head over to yours.