No Flowers on the Square – Tiananmen ktd-013

Written by on June 5, 2019 in Conversations: KTD Podcast with 0 Comments

No Flowers on the Square

— Dedicated to the Students of Tiananmen Square

© 2019 Demian Yumei
Freedom of speech is not just about the right to discuss politics or controversial ideas. It’s speaking your truth, expressing your feelings, conveying basic fundamental messages such as “Good-bye” or “I miss you.”
 
Freedom of the press is not just about being able to report the facts. It’s acknowledging the reality of other people, of other human beings.
 
Freedom of assembly is not just about town gatherings or protests. It’s meeting with friends and family to celebrate or grieve, to be able to rejoice or solemnly remember.
 
The families and friends of the students and other victims of Tiananmen Square are denied these freedoms, because the government refuses to acknowledge the massacre or call it for what it is, and they don’t want to be reminded.
 
Those who knew and loved the students are denied the right to honor their loved ones’ memories as other families are permitted and expected to in their society. If they try, they are punished, penalized, placed under arrest or police surveillance.
 
When a mother can say goodbye to her child I will know China is a free China.
 
There is nothing as hurtful as bondage of the heart; the intrusion into and control of the most private area of our lives – how we live and how we love, how we die and how we grieve. These are private moments, sacred intimacies and when they are controlled by a government or system the people are oppressed no matter how golden their cages or profitable.
 
There is no freedom, when your private moments are state owned.
 
So we must vow to remember — without the flowers, without the permission, wherever we are to whatever extent we can. We can honor the fallen and the heartbroken ones with our defiance of love and caring, of using our voice as unapologetically as we can, of showing up fully wherever we are called.
 
We can lay the flowers of respect in our hearts and raise our voices for truth. We can honor the dream the students had for a future of justice and equity, by working to make it become a reality for all today.
 
In their name, in their honor.
 
The dream lives on in those who remain. #WeRemember64
 
Demian Yumei,
~ Keeping the Dream
 
 
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About the Author

About the Author: Demian Yumei, author, singer/songwriter and artist activist, uses spoken, written word and original songs in her human rights activism. "For the Sake of Love” is her collection of songs written on Demian's healing journey, and “Little Yellow Pear Tomatoes” is a children’s book she wrote for her daughter about the interconnectedness of life published by Illumination Arts and endorsed by Jane Goodall. Currently, Demian is working on recording episodes for her podcast and writing on the "Where There's Smoke Series on Covert Abuse". .

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