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Copyright 1999 Agence France Presse  
Agence France Presse

June 03, 1999 22:00 GMT

SECTION: Domestic, non-Washington, general news item

LENGTH: 414 words

HEADLINE: Tiananmen 10th anniversary events planned across US

   WASHINGTON, June 3 (AFP) - Human rights activists and Chinese dissidents planned vigils, rallies, and other events across the United States on Thursday and Friday to mark the 10th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing.

About two dozen people staged a midday memorial service here Thursday outside the Chinese embassy to commemorate the several hundred, possibly thousands of people killed when the Chinese military suppressed pro-democracy protests in Beijing on June 4, 1989.

Members of the Free China Movement and fledgling China Democracy Party set up white funeral wreaths and wore black armbands as they read aloud the names of those known to have died in the crackdown.

"Tear down the great wall of human rights oppression," Free China Movement chairman Tim Cooper urged. A candlelight vigil was also planned outside the embassy late Friday

Elsewhere, the nonprofit Freedom Forum in Arlington, Virginia, planned at a ceremony late Thursday to unveil a replica of the Goddess of Democracy statue erected by student protesters in Beijing a decade ago.

Speakers were to include 1989 student leader Li Lu and author Bette Bao Lord, wife of former US Ambassador to China Winston Lord.

The Goddess of Democracy statue, modeled after the Statue of Liberty in New York, was crushed by Chinese tanks but "still lives in the hearts of Chinese people," said Li, a leader of the 1989 protests who now works in New York City.

"It's important on this eve of the June 4 anniversary to remind people of the impact the movement has left on China. It has fundamentally changed the Chinese people and the Chinese government," he said.

Li took part earlier Thursday in a reunion at Harvard with a dozen other Chinese student leaders who fled to the United States after the crackdown, he said in an interview.

Harvard University, where a number of 1989 student leaders studied after fleeing the crackdown, was meanwhile hosting a memorial service and panel discussion on Thursday and Friday in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

And in San Francisco, US Representative Nancy Pelosi, a frequent China critic in Congress, was to take part in a memorial service at Portsmouth Square.

Members of Congress were on recess this week but were expected to mark the anniversary on June 8 at a reception in a congressional office building currently exhibiting photographs of events surrounding the June 4, 1989 crackdown.



LOAD-DATE: June 03, 1999

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