|Participants pack the steps and balcony at UC Irvine three days after the massacre|
Taking photographs at the time of the memorial at UC Irvine in 1989, I remember the shock and grief among those gathered facing a "coffin" and speaker set up borrowed from KUCI, the campus radio station. It was only four years later, in 1993, I would start my weekly Subversity Show on KUCI.
The student newspaper New University did not cover the UC Irvine remembrances on its front page in the next issue. Instead, it issued a humor edition called the New Ewe. (The digitized copy of 12 June 1989 "archived" online at UCI is incomplete, lacking many pages, and superimposed with a later issue).
But a New University issue of 29 May 1989 did cover UCI students from Taiwan and China participating in solidarity protests in Los Angeles. A photo shows UC Irvine marked on two banners or flags carried, with biology and economics senior Philip Huang and biology junior Tony Lee identified in the caption, which notes that "about eight other UCI students" joined the march in Chinatown Los Angeles the previous Saturday. The marchers went from the Sun Yat-sen statue to the Chinese Consulate.
|UCI students among those gathered at UCI|
|UCI student raises turtle on a pole|
A vice-president elect of ROCSA, Philip Huang said, "If we get people across the globe to recognize what students want to achieve and to bear pressure on the CHinese government, maybe" Chinese leaders will move for some change.
|Continuation of New University article|
The previous Friday, ROCSA had held a petition drive plus donation collection in Gateway Plaza at UCI. ROCSA sent a support letter the group worked on for two weeks to the New University, which published it in the same issue. Signed by its President, Wayne Wu, the Taiwan student club commended, in the gendered language of the time, "our fellow brother students" in Mainland China "for their dedication and perseverance in the pursuit of life, liberty and democracy." Although students from Taiwan, "we still feel a sense of brotherhood among the Chinese race, and an unspeakable passion of patriotism toward the country of our forefathers," a call not likely to be echoed in today's Taiwan except by Kuomintang supporters.
"It is the common goal of all Chinese, regardless of background or origin, to one day see a united body of China striving for the progression and advancement of our beloved country." Adding that "what they are fighting for is just and good," the statement ends: "Our spirits, as well as our hearts, will go out to them in an endless wave of support until the endless conflict has been resolved and victory is in sight."
Of course, hopes were extinguished after the army moved in to wipe out the protest just six days after the letter was published.
|ROCSA statement in New University 29 May 1989|
Despite the current influx of many international students from China, many of whom may think 6/4 is just foreign propaganda, there is reason to trust that truth will prevail and justice will eventually prevail. -- Daniel C. Tsang. Photos copyright © Daniel C. Tsang 1989.