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Turbulent Decade: A History of the Cultural Revolution

By Yan Jiaqi; Gao Gao et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 5

Nationwide Networking

Going to the Capital for Networking

When the seven-person poster by Nie Yuanzi appeared in the People's Daily, many people were attracted to the torch of the Cultural Revolution lit by Mao Zedong. In Beijing, Beijing University and other schools attracted waves of enthusiasts who in turn came away to tell the world what they had seen.

Following the entry into the schools of the work groups accompanied by the Eight Directives of the Central Committee, which replaced the Party committees in such institutions, a wedge appeared between those within the institution charged with handling internal institutional affairs and those sent in from the outside. This was especially so when the work groups began suppressing the Anti-Interference movement aimed at opposing the work of the work groups. Despite difficulties, however, many people engaged in interinsti‐ tutional exchanges. Shared experiences and outlook linked them together.

Students of other localities imitated their Beijing counterparts in dislodging the top leadership of their respective units. Naturally, the provincial, municipal, and other official units leaders were resolutely set against this course of student actions. Incidents began to occur, such as the so-called June 6 Counterrevolutionary Incident at Xi'an's Communications University, the Lanzhou Incident, Changsha Tragedy, Tongchuan Bloody Incident, and other events in Shanghai and other places in Sichuan Province. Many young people, burning with the zeal of searching for truth, came together to express their desire to go to the Party Central and Chairman Mao to look for justice and sympathy for their stance. Many braved enormous difficulties and deprivations in making their way to Beijing to have their cases heard. Such was the beginning of "networking" (chuanlian) throughout the provinces. 1

The university and middle-school students of Tianjin, for instance, believing

-85-

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