GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – The many deaths that don’t count


Yesterday, June 4 was the 33 year anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre of hundreds of peaceful protesters. All records of this infamous massacre has been scrubbed from the Chinese internet. All commemorations of the Tiananmen massacre have been expressly forbidden in China. Except in Hong Kong, that was until now. For the last two years commemoration of the Tiananmen Square massacre of peaceful protesters by the Chinese Authorities have been severely restricted by the Hong Kong police as a Covid-19 control measure. Now ‘all’ commemoration of the Tiananmen Massacre has been banned by the Hong Kong police for “Social Order” reasons. The Hong Kong police threatened that anyone who breaks the ban could be imprisoned for up to 5 years.

All around the world state violence including mass murder and genocide of civilian populations is becoming normalised. Everywhere around the world, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Myanmar, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Palestine, Ukraine, everywhere the mass murder of civilians is being carried out, it is being normalised, sanitised, hidden, denied and forgotten.

Repressive regimes are on the rise, spreading their influence and power, silencing the voices that try to expose and recount their crimes. These repressive regimes use harsh sentences, sometimes even murder, as in the case of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, to hide their crimes. Sometimes these regimes spread fake narratives and lies to deny and cover up their murders and genocide.

But sometimes, often by dribs and drabs, some of the many deaths that don’t count, are uncovered and counted in a way that can’t be denied.

Fight the darkness!

Pat O’Dea is a unionist and human rights activist.

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