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The Web reacts to Tiananmen's 20th anniversary

Video by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-06-04

Today on the Net: the Chinese web reacts on the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen protests; Obama’s visit to Egypt is dividing local Net users; a campaign is underway on the anniversary of Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.



“Together”- is the title of this video, broadcast over the last few weeks from blog to blog on the Chinese web. The aim is to commemorate the Tiananmen Square massacre on June 14 1989. An anniversary that Chinese net users have been preparing for months.


One of the most memorable initiatives is that by ‘Tiananmen Mothers’. The association has had a website for a while & has just created a Youtube channel. Many testimonies are broadcast like this one of the mother of a student killed 20 years ago, telling her story …


Young Chinese people are also highly mobilised on the web. These Hong Kong students have launched an artistic project aiming to retrace the steps of the student movement. Performances visible on this blog. On May 30 students wanted to remind people that on that day, 20 years ago, a statue of liberty had been erected in Tiananmen Square.


To dress the protesters at the commemoration events, many net users have created home made T-shirts that are exhibited and sold online.


As Facebook is still accessible, commemorative groups have been created. This group, which calls net users to gather online, boasts over 2,500 members.


But on the forums users are deploring the censorship operated on the web by the authorities. Access to the community site, Twitter and to the message service, Hotmail has been blocked in the country.


And to strike back against this web censorship, Chinese net users have launched a very special marathon. The aim is to share a maximum of bit torrent files on the 1989 massacre.




‘Don’t be seduced by the sophisticated discourse of the criminal, Barack Obama’. This is the message of Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaida’s number 2, in this recording broadcast on Islamist sites close to the terrorist network. He also criticises the Egyptians who are hosting the US President.

The less radical, local web, remains divided as to Obama’s Egyptian visit.
This Egyptian net user doubts that Obama will be able to convince Israel to make concessions about Palestinian. He asserts with this cartoon, that he will not be fooled by Obama’s words about peace in the Middle East.

Barack Obama’s visit to Cairo is nevertheless causing immense hope, as stressed by this female blogger. This is especially true amongst young Egyptians, eager for change and reform in their country.

An optimism tangible in the interviews that this US journalist, present on the campus of Cairo University has posted online. This student hopes that Obama will be able to give a fresh image of the US in the region. This communications professor hopes that the visit will mark a new start in relations between Washington and the Middle East.

Finally, many net users have assembled on this Facebook group. They wish to thank the US President for having chosen Cairo in which to give his speech.



Gordon Brown wishing happy birthday to the Burmese opponent, Aung San Suu Kyi. The UK Prime Minister is not the only one to have recorded such a video. Richard Branson & David Beckham have also joined this campaign launched online by human rights militants. The aim is to demand the liberation of and express support for Aung San Suu Kyi who will celebrate her 64th birthday on June 19. The opponent, who campaigns for democracy in Burma risks 5 years in prison for violating the terms of her house arrest.



The NASA Earth Observatory recently celebrated its 10th birthday. A decade during which the world’s population has risen by approximately 13%. On the site, tens of videos illustrate man’s conquest of his environment during this period, like here in Dubai...




The game, Tetris celebrates its 25th birthday in June. On this occasion we recall that the video of the largest ever human Tetris game organised in Switzerland with 88 people in 2007 has been viewed 9 million times on Youtube.

Date created : 2009-06-04