June 8 Coexist
June 4th, 2009, marked the 20th anniversary of the military crackdown on student protesters gathered in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. Beginning in April of 1989, thousands of students and other citizens started gathering in groups large and small, protesting many issues, centered on a desire for freedom and democratic reform. By mid-May of 1989, hundreds of thousands of protesters occupied the square, staging hunger strikes, and asking for dialogue. Chinese authorities responded with a declaration of martial law, and sent soldiers and tanks from the People’s Liberation Army, preparing to disperse the crowds. Late on June 3rd, 1989, the tanks and armored personnel carriers rolled into the square, killing and wounding many, mostly civilians – estimates vary widely, from several hundred to several thousand dead.
From The Los Angles Times:
The California Supreme Court’s decision Tuesday to uphold Proposition 8 and existing same-sex marriages left in place all rights for California’s gays and lesbians except access to the label “marriage,” but it provided little protection from future ballot measures that could cost gays and other minorities more rights, lawyers and scholars said Tuesday.
A reflection on the course of events toward human rights leaves me wondering if we can coexist, or if it’s our very nature that keeps us from finding peace and acceptance. We look back in scorn at the events on Tiananmen Square twenty years ago and yet we continue to alienate and destroy freedom, albeit in more subtle ways.
Do our minds see the world simply as too small to accommodate anyone else other than ourselves and those like us that we deem “acceptable”?
Is it just our fundamental nature to destroy and disintegrate rather than create and coalesce? I hope not.
The world is big enough, find a way to coexist.
I am thankful for a simple peace
- for homecomings and reuniting
- a restful sleep
- and people who build bridges that close the gaps that otherwise seem impassable.
For what are you thankful?