Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Red Guard in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on July 13, 2010


Great post from here:

TheCulturalRevolution

Red Guards-some were overcome in battle; others were driven into remote regions of China-all part of China’s lost generation of youth.

Tool of Mao

In general, Mao Zedong picked the Red Guards, their function that is. They traveled throughout China going to schools, universities, and institutions spreading the teachings of Mao. They had a darker side however, as they were violent and oppressive to those who went against the teachings of Mao, or those who criticized him.

The role of Red Guard was mainly to attack “the four olds” of society, that is the old ideas, cultures, manners, and customs. Red Guards in Beijing and everywhere in China had taken to the streets from their schools. They made posters, speeches, and committed violent and indiscriminate acts in the name of the Cultural Revolution.

Mao met a million Red Guards formally in Tiananmen Square on August 18, 1966. The people in the crowd felt the Red Guards were “class enemies” who only wanted to hurt and pillage their homes, and as a result, the people were attacked many of them. Carrying portraits of Mao, the Red Guard marched through the streets and destroyed all the symbols, which they thought were “feudal, capitalist, and radical”. They named and renamed street signs and buildings. Many people in realms of education, academic, media, literature and punishment were abused as “Capitalist Roader” or “anti-revolutionaries” and pillaged their house. In addition, the Red Guards ransacked museums and destroyed old books and works of art. Many famous building like temples and shrines and heritages was destroyed. 4,922 out of a total 6,843 were destroyed.

These campaigns by the Red Guards could not help but cause ill feelings and opposition in society. A clash between Red Guards and workers, peasants, and soldiers of People’s Liberation Army occurred in some regions. Being faced this, according to Mao’s advice Cultural Revolution Group and People’s Daily told worker and peasants to cooperate with students and fight. Such a call made campaign by Red Guards more enthusiastic. Red Guard activity moved to local party organizations. Consequently it ended the political life of many CCP members.

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