Technology and Resistance: Digital Communications and New Coalitions around the World

By Ann De Vaney; Stephen Gance et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter Six
Chinese Online Presence: Tiananmen Square and Beyond

Yan Ma

The riotous bloom of people power, Chinese style, that took hold of Beijing last week began as a movement almost exclusively of students. But in one of those extraordinarily rare and historic occasions--it was Karl Marx who gave such moments the classical definition "revolutionary praxis"--a kind of instant solidarity appeared. ... It bound together the disparate groups--students, workers, professionals, academics. ...

When it happened, suddenly a million or more marchers were streaming into Tiananmen, perhaps ten times as many as had been there the day before. It was the largest demonstration in modern Chinese history. People poured out of factories and hospitals, the Foreign Ministry and kindergartens. And not just in Beijing. By midweek the ferment had spread to at least a dozen other cities, with another hunger strike taking place in Shanghai. In some provincial cities plans for a general strike were reported.

Benjamin 1989, 40

By the time the world witnessed the unfolding of a massive but traditional resistance strategy in Tiananmen Square, Chinese dissidents had established a vast online presence. In fact, as the Zapatistas and U.S. environmentalists were creating Web sites for the Indians in Chiapas, Mexico, during the late eighties, Chinese students and other

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