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This week marks the 25th Anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. On June 4, 1989, Chinese soldiers armed with tanks and automatic weapons forcibly cleared Tiananmen Square. The Chinese government reported that 218 civilians, 10 soldiers and 13 police officers were killed along with 7,000 wounded. Other estimates went as high as 6,000 dead and 30,000 wounded. A People’s Liberation Army defector noted that a document circulated to PLA officers put the death toll at 3,700.
Touched off by the April 15 death of Hu Yaobang, a liberal reformer who had been removed as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party three years earlier, students began to assemble in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. They stayed for seven weeks, occupying Tiananmen Square, growing in number and joined by thousands of working people. They protested government oppression and demanded, among other things, a free press.
On the day after the bloody massacre cleared the square, and with the military seemingly in full control, an unknown man was caught on film standing in front of a line of tanks, briefly blocking their advance. He became an international symbol for individual freedom.
- Frontline Documentary: “The Tank Man” Part 1
- Frontline Documentary: “The Tank Man” Part 2
- Frontline Documentary: “The Tank Man” Part 3
- Frontline Documentary: “The Tank Man” Part 4
- Frontline Documentary: “The Tank Man” Part 5
- Frontline Documentary: “The Tank Man” Part 6
- Frontline Documentary: “The Tank Man” Part 7
- Frontline Documentary: “The Tank Man” Part 8
- The entire PBS Video (ironically w/ commercials)
- The Tank Man – Frontline
William Easterly looks at the inherent callousness at the heart of modern talk of “development.” His starting point, below, is the big difference in ideas between 1974′s dual winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics, Gunnar Myrdal and F.A. Hayek. Myrdal supported a double standard. Hayek did not.
Myrdal also promoted a huge assumption we still live with today: that of the benevolent dictator, the one who gets all the credit for progress. The common folk, you see, are just pawns in the dictator’s hands.
Two anti-initiative bills were defeated this week by a unanimous vote in a state senate committee in Colorado. This outcome, thanks to a coalition of groups and civic leaders from left, right and in-between that rallied people to get involved. Here two leaders, Elena Nunez with Colorado Common Cause and Dennis Polhill with the Independence Institute, speak with Jon Caldara (also with II). All three are very knowledgeable about how initiatives work and also understand why the initiative process is so important.
A man at a forum asks the operative question.
Michigan’s ban on racial and gender preferences, upheld this week by the SCOTUS, was passed by voters in 2006 through a citizen initiative led by Jennifer Gratz, now leading the XIV Foundation, and Leon Drolet, a former state legislator and activist. Ten years before that, Ward Connerly led a similar initiative petition effort in California, which is specifically addressed in the video.