U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D. NY) will be a guest speaker at the May 25, 2018 reunion of students who served in the Red Guard during China’s Cultural Revolution.
The annual reunion, held at Peking University in Beijing, in the Haidian District of China, commemorates the day students there displayed a large, hand-written poster proclaiming that their university was controlled by bourgeois anti-revolutionaries.
Mao Tse-tung “created the terror of ‘Red August’ with the aim of frightening the whole nation into an ever greater degree of conformity. On 1 August , he wrote to the first group of Red Guards, who had vowed in their posters to ‘be brutal’ and to ‘trample’ Mao’s enemies, to announce his ‘fiery support.’ (“Mao, The Unknown Story,” Jung Chang, Jon Halliday, © 2005, Alfred A. Knopf, pp. 516-517)
The Red Guard was the student activist wing of Mao’s Cultural Revolution (from 1966-1971). It was a long and painful socio-political movement characterized by military rule, terrorism, purges and a restructuring of public education. It was chaotic and often indiscriminate in its brutality.
Most of the Red Guard students, pictured above holding Mao’s “Little Red Book” of quotes, are now in their 60’s and 70’s. Some will likely be in the audience to hear Schumer talk.
The New York Senator was chosen to speak based on the brief (1 min: 43 sec), but stirring, speech he gave to youth who attended the March 14, 2018 rally to protest gun violence in Washington D.C.
You can watch the video of his speech here. The transcript is below the photo of Schumer leading the chant that ended his remarks.
Transcript: “Let us remember the thousands upon thousands of children who died at the hands of gun violence. Yesterday, there were seven-thousand pairs of unworn shoes here on the east front to the Capital representing seven-thousand kids whose lives could have been before them. Seven-thousand kids who died of gun violence only since Sandy Hook. Enough is enough! (crowd cheers) Now everyone, I’ve been through these wars. I am the author of the Brady Law and the Assault Weapons Ban…(cheers)…The NRA…The NRA has made me public enemy number one, and I’m proud of it! (cheers) And we’ve been fighting for ten years. Every time the vice-like grip of the NRA on the necks of some of these politicians has succeeded, but this time it won’t. You wanna know why? It won’t cause we have YOU! (cheers) And together we’re gonna win! We’re gonna win! We’re gonna win! We’re gonna win! We’re gonna win! Don’t give up the fight; we will win.”
For this inspirational speech summoning students to action – while it’s unclear exactly what action it is to which he summons them, beyond the expectation of them voting Democrat soon – Schumer will receive the 2018 Red Guard Cultural Revolution Annual Award.
(Note: Nancy Pelosi stands behind Schumer at his right elbow. Behind Pelosi’s right shoulder is Sen. Richard Blumenthal, the Connecticut Democrat who once claimed some knowledge of gun violence as a veteran of the Vietnam War. Blumenthal had to walk back his claim to implied familiarity with gun violence, when it became known that, during the war, he had served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in Washington, D.C., and Connecticut, from 1970 to 1976. But there was significant gun violence in Washington, D.C. at that time. He may have even heard some shots.)