Civilian Publications during the 1989 Prodemocracy Movement
Author：Jiang Shao（Independent Scholar）
This article examines the format, content and role of the civilian publications during the 1989 pro-Democracy Movement in China. As the marches, sit-ins, hunger strikes, and occupation of Tiananmen Square in defiance of martial law, so too the copying and dissemination of civilian publications expanded from university campuses to the streets and the square itself. These publications ranged from big character posters and in-house pamphlets, largely confined to universities, to movable posters in public places in Beijing and other regions within China, and even outside. The study of what democracy meant in the civilian publications was the most significant matter of discussion during the Movement. The publications played an important role in unifying tactics during the Movement and establishing networks of resistance among various actors. They also inspired self-governing student organizations and other autonomous organizations based at Tiananmen Square as well as multiple acts of resistance across generations, social class and ethnicity. The publications did not believe that dialogue with grassroots society was an effective or sustainable approach in turning the movement’s earliest claims into a pro-democracy movement for all. Discussion on the relationship between political democracy and economic democracy did not become an influential issue in the Movement. Civilian publications failed to discern the relationship between democracy, patriotism and self-strengthening of the nation. In the latter stages of the Movement some leaflets over-emphasized the occupation of Tiananmen Square as the only center of resistance and failed to promote autonomous organizations among workers and other grassroots’ actors as multiple centers of resistance. The publications provide valuable lessons for future global democracy movements that seek to end autocracy and empires, including the totalitarianism of the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese Empire, and a way out of a crisis for democracy.
Keywords：citizen publications, the 1989 prodemocracy movement, June Fourth Massacre, agendas and discourses, political and economic democracy, multiple centres and methods of resistance
《台灣人權學刊 》第5卷第2期， 下載全文： http://www.taiwanhrj.org/contents/337