It Could Have Been Me: Ding Zilin's Teenage Son Was Shot in 1989 by Riot Police on Their Way to "Clear" Pro-Democracy Protests in Tiananmen Square. She, and Others, Are Still Waiting for Justice, but China's Government Does Not Even Want Them to Mourn in Public

New Statesman (1996), June 2, 2008 | Go to article overview

It Could Have Been Me: Ding Zilin's Teenage Son Was Shot in 1989 by Riot Police on Their Way to "Clear" Pro-Democracy Protests in Tiananmen Square. She, and Others, Are Still Waiting for Justice, but China's Government Does Not Even Want Them to Mourn in Public


Fifteen years ago my son Stephen was murdered. To lose one's child is a devastating blow from which a mother can never fully recover. And to lose one's child as a result of a violent attack--in the case of my son Stephen, a racist attack--leaves an even deeper wound. But it is the failure to get justice that stops that wound from ever truly healing.

Stephen was only 18 when his life was cut short on a south-east London street. Jiang Jielian was 17 when, on the night of 3 June 1989, he was shot through the heart by Chinese riot police on their way to Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Like Stephen, he was left to bleed to death. He was one of the first to be killed when troops "cleared" the pro-democracy protests.

Like me, his mother Ding Zilin wanted to know why her son had been murdered and who had taken the life of an unarmed teenager; and she wanted justice. In August 1989, she met another bereaved mother, Zhang Xianling. Others joined, and the group became the Tiananmen Mothers.

Ever since the 1989 crackdown, public mourning in the weeks before the anniversary has been strictly forbidden. The Tiananmen Mothers have tried to mourn their children in graveyards and nearby areas on that day, but time and again they have been stopped.

Many of the Tiananmen Mothers have been arrested, harassed and persecuted. In 1991, Ding Zilin was forced into early retirement from her job at Peking University and her Communist Party membership was revoked. In 2004, she and other Tiananmen Mothers were put under house arrest shortly before the 15th anniversary of the crackdown to prevent them from holding any public memorial. The authorities have even frozen cash donations from overseas sent in support of the victims' families.

Last year the authorities seemed to relax the controls. Ding Zilin, her husband and two other members of victims' families were allowed to light candles in front of pictures of their children in a short remembrance ceremony on Chang' an Avenue, west of Tiananmen Square, at the spot where Jiang Jielian was killed. Around 20 of the Tiananmen Mothers were also able to hold a meeting in Beijing.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

It Could Have Been Me: Ding Zilin's Teenage Son Was Shot in 1989 by Riot Police on Their Way to "Clear" Pro-Democracy Protests in Tiananmen Square. She, and Others, Are Still Waiting for Justice, but China's Government Does Not Even Want Them to Mourn in Public
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.