Rose’s perilous journey was just beginning. In 1989, she was in the belly of the dragon, in Tiananmen Square, along with thousands of students who peacefully demonstrated in name of democracy and freedom only to be slaughtered by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)’s tanks in a massacre that shocked the world, whose memory is still with us.
An iconic photo portrays her on May 21, 1989, the day following the declaration of the Martial Law that precipitated events and brought to the carnage. She had led an all-night sit-in outside Zhongnanhai near the square, a former imperial garden in Beijing’s Imperial City, near the Forbidden City, that served as the central headquarters for the CCPand the State Council, the chief administrative authority of the People’s Republic of China. “One of the students I met that night,” Rose explains, “was shot by the PLA during the massacre. He was a science college student. His name is Wang Qiong. He was 19.”
A survivor from a nightmare, Tang now lives and performs in New York as musician, journalist, and activist, but she cannot forget. Her engagement for democracy and liberty in China is her way of honoring the memory of Tiananmen.