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Viewing message <8911250841.AA18860@ucbvax.Berkeley.EDU> 

Subject: Who Went Farther, Chinese or Czechoslovakian Students ?
Newsgroups: soc.culture.china
View: Complete Thread (4 articles) | Original Format
Date: 1989-11-25 02:30:15 PST
    Yesterday, many of us were anxious for the situation in Czechoslovakia 
after hearing the news that the military declared on TV they would defend 
socialism against ``disorder.''  Yet today comes the news, half surprising 
but also half expected, that the hard-liner leader Milos Jakes and his 
Politburo resigned.  Watching on TV, my heart dances with those jubilant 
young couples in Prague.  

    Nearly six months after the brutal June 3-4 massacre, it becomes almost 
fashionable to criticize that the Chinese students went too far in their 
struggle for democracy.  How could they dare to ask Deng Xiaoping to resign?  
Why didn't they leave TAM Square early? 

    Now we have a reference point.  How far do you think the Czechoslovakian 
students have gone? 

    The pro-democracy movement in Czechoslovakia was launched and mainly 
participated by students and intellectuals.  It was escalated after the 
police violence on Nov. 17.  Since then the street demonstration has been 
a daily ritual in the capital.  And from the very beginning, their slogan 
is ``Resign, Jakes!''  Whereas at first the Chinese students only asked 
to recognize their movement as ``patriotic'' and to dialogue directly with 
the government!  

    The events in China, East Germany and Czechoslovakia show that in a 
hard-line communist country, the street demonstration is apparently the 
only form people know for dislodging their agony.  In fact, they have been 
trained in government-staged rallies for years, shouting either ``down with'' 
someone, or just the opposite, ``long live'' someone.  When they rebel, they 
would just go that far: go to street and keep ``down with'' the leaders in 
their minds, if not in their mouths yet.   

    In comparison with China, Czechoslovakia has more favorable external 
conditions for change, and their leaders are communists but not bandits.  
However, the students look very similar, they both went that far.  

    The road to a democratic Czechoslovakia is still very long.  Even you 
have the democracy, it doesn't necessarily mean to reach prosperity as fast 
as many people would like.  There could be even setbacks.  However, at the 
present, Czech people are celebrating their victory, without worrying anyone 
to take the liberty to criticize them for going too far.  

  Sanyee  Tang   (619)-534-3521    |        Revolutions are rare.  Reform,
  Physics, B-019,  UC San Diego    |    perhaps, is even rarer.
  La Jolla,  California   92093    |
  Internet: tang@ssurf.ucsd.edu    |              --- Samuel Huntington

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