The Baton Rouge ‘tank lady’ photographs by Reuters

JISHOU, HUNAN — leshia Evans was not standing in front of a line of Chinese PLA tanks, but her resolute and silent resistance to a phalanx of armored police officers in Baton Rouge shares some of the same meaning. Here’s the entire series of photos taken by Reuters photographer Jonathan Bachman. A woman was standing calmly, her long dress the only thing moving in the breeze, as two police officers in full riot gear confronted her in the middle of a roadway to arrest her. "She had no facial expression at all. She just stood there," said photographer Jonathan Bachman, 31, who was on assignment in the Louisiana state capital Baton Rouge to cover the Black Lives Matter protests over last week's fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling, 37, in the city. "I knew it was a good frame and it was something that would tell a story," Bachman said about the moment he captured the image of Ieshia Evans, a nurse from Pennsylvania, before she was arrested. A Sheriff's Office jail log showed a 35-year-old woman with that name was booked on a charge of simple obstruction of a highway and had been released from custody. #IeshiaEvans #ReutersPhotos #BatonRouge ...

Tian’anmen Square protests, 25 years on

JISHOU, HUNAN — In the spring of 1989, hundreds of thousands of Chinese university students, intellectuals and other citizens occupied Tian’anmen Square in Beijing, demanding greater civil rights and social freedom to parallel China’s new free-market economic policies. The protests ended in bloody clashes between protesters, police and the army on June 4, leaving 2,600 dead and 2,000 injured, according to Red Cross estimates. In addition. 400 soldiers went missing. Other organizations have higher casualty estimates, and as high as 5,000 dead. In any event, it was one of the bloodiest events in recent Chinese history, and a protest movement that has yet to be repeated. Officially, the protests and the crackdown allegedly authorized by then-Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping 邓小平 never happened. China’s history books and the national history museum say nothing about the Tian’anmen protests, and if they do, no mention is made of the thousands of casualties. The government’s censors have blocked Internet searches of the event, and even the date. Searching Wikipedia’s English and Chinese sites will get you nowhere. (I used the Spanish site to check my facts. You Anglophiles can use the English site if you prefer — if you’re outside mainland China.) In the ...

Your lazy blogger checks in

JISHOU, HUNAN — Well, I’ve lots of blog ideas swimming around in my head these last three weeks, but none of them ended up in print till now. The muse was on vacation, and just got back from Mallorca. OK, I was being lazy. So, here’s what’s new here, in the middle of the Middle Kingdom. I passed my annual health tests, which are required for all foreigners working in China. The schedule is: blood test, chest X-ray, ultrasound of abdominal area, blood pressure (135/71), height and weight. Takes about an hour to get them all done, but the testing requires a trip to the provincial capital, Changsha, to the international travel health office. Hunan citizens who will work or study abroad have to visit the same place for more extensive testing. The university pays the fees for my tests, about 500 yuan ($80 or so). Outbound Chinese pay between 800 and 1,000 yuan for their physical examinations. Cash only, by the way. Sue, the new foreign affairs officer, accompanied me and took care of the arrangements. While I was there, I met a young American working at a kindergarten. He said he’s been working in Changsha for three years ...

Chinese rocker censored, refuses to appear on New Year gala show

JISHOU, HUNAN — China’s “godfather of rock,” Cui Jian (崔健), has refused to appear in the annual CCTV New Year Gala program, because censors told him he could not perform one of his big hits. “Nothing to My Name” (一无所有 Yì Wú Suǒ Yǒu) was the unofficial anthem of the 1989 Tian’anmen Square student protest, which the government would rather the Chinese public not remember, or even know about. Nearly everyone in China watches the CCTV New Year Gala, which this year will be aired Jan. 30. That’s a lot of people. Cui, 52, wanted to perform the 1986 hit, but TV censors said no go. Rather than acquiesce to their demands, Cui canceled his appearance. In spring 1989 Beijing students took to the streets, demanding greater democracy and freedom in China. A huge crowd of students occupied Tian’anmen Square for nearly seven weeks. Martial law was declared on May 20, and on June 4 and 5, the government sent in hundreds of thousands of soldiers, some in tanks and helicopters, to crush the protests. There were reportedly thousands of casualties. Before the crackdown, Cui had given a concert to the students during their hunger strike in Tian’anmen Square. Later, ...

Protesters in Guangzhou demand greater freedom of press in China

JISHOU, HUNAN — Government censorship of the Guangzhou newspaper Southern Weekend prompted a walk-out and public protest by the newspaper’s staff, a rare event in China. Even more remarkable: the police didn’t shut it down. Two journalists from The Economist’s China desk explain what’s going on in Guangzhou, and talk about civil rights matters in China. (The video will play automatically once you open the complete post. My efforts to stop autoplay failed.)
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