Friday, August 11, 2017

Tiananmen Squared

As we wait to see if IMPOTUS will take us into nuclear war, some friends are visiting China. One of them posted these thoughts on Facebook, and it has resonances for me, from my interest in making cities that work for people to government suppression:

Tiananmen Square is the largest public square in the world, though a certain connotation of "public square" we have in the west is absent. It is immense, and except for a couple of heroic monuments and gardens on the perimeter, it is just a vast expanse of concrete. And people. Mao's mausoleum was closed today so we weren't even tempted. One of the photos [he posted to Facebook] shows some of the many surveillance cameras trained on the site. There is absolutely no reference to June 4, 1989, anywhere, and the word is effectively conveyed not to mention it. 
The square is obviously built for assembling lots of people to see a show of military force or to hear a message from the government. I'm sure they have similar spaces in North Korea.

Meanwhile, Indiana Republicans are expanding voting access white-dominant areas and decreasing polling places in black-dominant areas... and Alabama is purging its voter rolls just before an election. And 52 percent of Republicans polled support the idea of postponing the 2020 election in order to make sure only "eligible citizens" vote.

No comments: