Friday, 5 June 2009

Remembered: Chinese Internet Maintenance Day

"It was twenty years ago today Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play.."

In the last twenty years China has seen huge economic growth and vast improvements in the wealth and health of individual citizens. But that is not what we are remembering today (or more properly, yesterday)... The clip above is an iconic image of the democracy protests in China in 1989 - but search in Youtube and you will see lots of more graphic and disturbing images of the suppression of the democracy movement there that saw hundreds of protesters killed and many more imprisoned.

That was twenty years ago - and by all accounts an event that within China the authorities try hard to see forgotten. It has been and remains a taboo subject there. In the run up to the anniversary a number of channels of web expression have been blocked... including sites like Twitter and Hotmail. It's hard to imagine living in a country where the state manipulates what news and media we can get access too..

But it seems that China's netizens are nevertheless making their own protest known - with a flush of sites declared off the air for 'Chinese Internet Maintenance Day'.

Freedom of expression, freedom (of unmonitered) communications and a freedom of (uncensored) information. These are not things to take for granted....

Swedish readers might also want to check out Rick Falkvinges blog: Himmelska Fridens Torg, Sverige, 2029

Defending democracy: Vote Piratpartiet for the EU parliament!

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