Chinese Government Remembers Tiananmen Square with War on Internet, Umbrellas

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Twenty years ago today, June 4, 2009, the Tiananmen Square massacre took place in Beijing, China. In hopes of whitewashing the bloody anniversary, instead of coming to terms with it, the Chinese Government has unleashed a media crackdown, blocking Twitter, Hotmail, Flickr, and YouTube (which has been out since March), according to CNN. There are also reports of international television channels being blacked out at any mere mention of the historic event.

But none of that compares to the silliness the Chinese Government is engaged in at Tiananmen Square today. With hopes of discouraging international reporters from doing on-site broadcasts, a number of plains clothes police officers are disrupting camera crews with… umbrellas. That’s right, umbrellas.

Despite the government’s imaginative efforts at censorship Tiananmen Square is being remembered around the world today. The New York Times even has a photo, never before published, that gives a new angle on “tank man.”


Isaac Fitzgerald has been a firefighter, worked on a boat, and was once given a sword by a king, thereby accomplishing three out of five of his childhood goals. Formerly of The Rumpus and McSweeney’s and most recently the founding editor of BuzzFeed Books, Isaac is now the co-host of BuzzFeed News’ Twitter Morning Show, #AMtoDM. He also appears frequently on The Today Show to talk books, and is co-author of Pen & Ink: Tattoos and the Stories Behind Them and Knives & Ink: Chefs and the Stories Behind Their Tattoos (with Recipes) (winner of an IACP award), and the author of a YA novel and picture book forthcoming from Bloomsbury. He uses Twitter. More from this author →