Cultural Revolution - Red Guards    

 

Red Guards were a mass movement of civilians, mostly students and other young people in the People's Republic of China (PRC), who were mobilized by Mao Zedong in 1966 and 1967, during the Cultural Revolution. ...More

 

Sun, Sep 9, 2012 08:15 AM | Cascade view | views: 1426

Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
Chairman Mao on a special military car was inspecting red guards lining along Chang'an Avenue.

By Bernd Chang

 

Red Guards were a mass movement of civilians, mostly students and other young people in the People's Republic of China (PRC), who were mobilized by Mao Zedong in 1966 and 1967, during the Cultural Revolution.

On May 25, 1966 a young philosophy lecturer at Peking University, Nie Yuanzi, wrote a big-character poster and taped it onto a public bulletin. Nie attacked the university party administration and cadres from Beijing party authorities as "black anti-Party gangsters," implying that there were forces at work in government and at the university who wished to betray the progress of the revolution. Several days later, Mao ordered Nie's message to be broadcast nationwide and called it "the first Marxist big-character poster in China." On May 29, at the High School attached to Tsinghua University, the first organization of Red Guards was formed with the aim of punishing and neutralising both intellectuals and Mao's political enemies.

On June 1, 1966, the People's Daily launched an attack on "reactionary" forces in the intellectual community. Subsequently, various university presidents and other prominent intellectuals were purged.

On July 28, 1966, Red Guard representatives wrote to Mao, stating that mass purges and all such related social and political phenomena were justified and correct. Mao responded with his full support with his own big-character poster entitled Bombard the Headquarters. Mao wrote that despite having undergone a Communist revolution, China's political hierarchy was still dominated by "bourgeoisie" elitist elements, capitalists, and revisionists, and that these counter-revolutionary elements were indeed still present at the top ranks of the party leadership itself.

On August 8, 1966, the Central Committee of the CPC passed its "Decision Concerning the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution" (also known as "the 16 Points").

The Decision took the already existing student movement and elevated it to the level of a nationwide mass campaign, calling on not only students but also "the masses of the workers, peasants, soldiers, revolutionary intellectuals, and revolutionary cadres" to carry out the task of "transforming the superstructure" by writing big-character posters and holding "great debates."

On August 18, 1966, millions of Red Guards from all over the country gathered in Beijing for a peek at the Chairman. On top of the Tiananmen, Mao and Lin Biao made frequent appearances to approximately 11 million Red Guards, receiving cheers each time.

On August 22, 1966, Mao issued a public notice, which stopped "all police intervention in Red Guard tactics and actions." Those in the police force who dared to defy this notice were labeled "counter-revolutionaries."

On September 5, 1966, another notice was issued, encouraging all Red Guards to come to Beijing over a stretch of time. All fees, including accommodation and transportation, were to be paid by the government.

In the spring of 1968, a massive campaign began, aimed at promoting the already-adored Mao Zedong to god-like status. On July 27, 1968, the Red Guards' power over the army was officially ended and the central government sent in units to protect many areas that remained targets for the Red Guards. Mao had supported and promoted the idea by allowing one of his "Highest Directions" to be heard by the masses. A year later, the Red Guard factions were dismantled entirely.

In December 1968, Mao began the "Down to the Countryside Movement". During this movement, which lasted for the next decade, young intellectuals living in cities were ordered to go to the countryside. The term "intellectuals" was actually used in the broadest sense to refer to recently graduated middle school students.
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
On May 25, a young philosophy lecturer at Peking University, Nie Yuanzi, wrote a big-character poster and taped it onto a public bulletin. Nie attacked the university party administration and cadres from Beijing party authorities as "black anti-Party gangsters," Several days later, Mao ordered Nie's message to be broadcast nationwide and called it "the first Marxist big-character poster in China." The picture shows local residents were reading the copied big-character poster of Nie Yuanzi.
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
From August to November of 1966, Mao Zedong received red guards from all over the country for eight times. The picture shows the spectacular scene when tens of thousands red guards swarmed on Tiananmen Square to see Mao.
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
A red sea of red guards on Tiananmen Square. each of them waved a red covered leaflet Quotations of Chairman Mao.
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
Red guards were excited to see Chairman Mao.
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
In 1966, Red guards were propagating Mao Zedong Thought on Tiananmen Square.
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
Armband of Red Guards
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
means 8-18, August 18, on that day Chairman Mao received Red Guards for the first. The armband named 8-18 implies the red guards were old red guards.
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
Red guards were performing the Zhong-shaped (loyal to Mao) dance.
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
Red Guards were on the way of military exercise.
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
Lin Biao, the Intimate Comrade of Mao during the early years of Cultural Revolution, delivered a speech on the second floor of Tian'anmen. Mao, Zhou Enlai, Jiang Qing and Kang Sheng also appeared in the picture.
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
Mao was named by Red Guards as red commander, and Mao seemed to appreciate this title as well.
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
Mao and Lin Biao were inspecting red guards. Both of them wore badge of red guards. At that time Lin Biao was already "the Intimate Comrade" of Mao. He followed Mao closely and appeared frequently on public.
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
Mao wrote his own big-character poster entitled Bombard the Headquarters on August 5, 1966. Mao wrote that despite having undergone a Communist revolution, China's political hierarchy was still dominated by "bourgeoisie" elitist elements, capitalists, and revisionists, and that these counter-revolutionary elements were indeed still present at the top ranks of the party leadership itself. This was, in effect, an open call-to-arms against Liu Shaoqi, Deng Xiaoping, and their allies.
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
Mao and his "intemate comrade" Lin Biao received red guards. Lin always held a leaflet of Quotations of Chairman Mao.
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
Big-character posters were seen everywhere.
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
Tsinghua University students were propagating Mao Zedong Thought.
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
Being received by Mao was a great honour for every red guard when personal cult reached its climax during The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
Among the primary pupils, an organization of little red guards was established during the cultural revolution. In the picture, the little red guards were performing for commune members on the farmland.
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
It was one of the typical characteristics that many people gathered together to study quotations of chairman Mao and to shout slogans.
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
Zhou Enlai stood with red guards.
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
Red guards of other provinces of China went to Beijing on foot.
Cultural Revolution,Red Guards
Red guards of remote areas of Heilongjiang Province arrived in Haerbin, the Capital city of Heilongjiang, after walking several hundred miles. They were excited to buy Essays of Mao Zedong at a Xinhua bookstore.
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