The hard truth about the expanded neoliberal world order
Part II The Hard Truth of Silence and Market Momentum
159 Chapter 3: Global Amnesia and June Fourth Silence descended on Beijing and kept its hold on the city over the next few days. But the calm was deceptive. Anxiety thrummed in the heat of the summer air that was now rolling in. Scattered gunﬁre could still be heard at irregular intervals. Every now and then, a military vehicle burst into ﬂame. The pillars of smoke rising from the ﬁres made the city centre resemble a burnt out industrial estate. It was very unsafe to move about in the streets. Continued unrest across China Against this backdrop, a single man, who in the English-speaking world has become known as the Tank Man, suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Carrying a white plastic bag in one hand, he stood in front of a convoy of tanks. The image of this scene became a symbol of the entire popular prodemocracy movement of 1989.237 It is a legendary video clip that only a fraction of the Chinese population has ever seen – capturing the modern history of their own country. At ﬁrst there is no sound, then the rumbling of the approaching tanks and ﬁnally the screams and shouted warnings of onlookers. What kind of courage was required to see this unique protest through? What was going through his mind as he stepped in front a line of tanks, alone on a boulevard ironically named Avenue of Eternal Peace? It was clearly a protest against the crushing of the students’, workers’ and local residents’...
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