Beijing silent on Mao’s 30th death anniversary

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever.”
– George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four.


Once people were ‘dragged out’ as ‘evil spirits’, they were forced to wear caps, collars or placards identifying them as such, as the representatives of the ‘Hunderd Clowns’ in the poster above. Being ‘cow monsters’, they were imprisoned in what was generally called a ‘cowshed’. This did not have to be a genuine stable; it could be a classroom, storehouse, dark room or temple. In the absence of legal procedures, the length of stay in the ‘cowshed’ could be ten days or ten years.

China officially ignored the 30th anniversary of the death of Mao Zedong yesterday, a sign that observers say reveals authorities’ fears that bitter memories could unleash a wave of discontent. In Beijing, the central government did not organize any commemorations for the man who established the People’s Republic in 1949 and was once known across China as the “great leader” and the “great helmsman.”

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