Morning Sun

Living Revolution | Red Guards | A New Long March

Beginning in August 1966, a series of rallies were held on Tiananmen Square, as Mao received Red Guards who had come to Beijing from all over the country. The travels of these youths, and the travels of others who also journeyed throughout China seeking to spread the message of their rebellion, were known as the "Great Link-ups," or da chuanlian.

These link-ups were also a way for young people to reenact the 1949 Revolution, and many set out from their homes on foot in imitation of the Long March. The Long March (October 1934 – October 1935), when Communist forces trekked over 6,000 miles to the north in the mid-1930s, was the central event in Chinese revolutionary mythology. It became a metaphor for the revolution itself. After the Communist victory in China, the history of the Long March was told in epic fashion, enthralling youths in the 1950s and 60s.

The stations of the 1949 Revolution -- Shanghai (where the party was founded), Jinggangshan in Jiangxi (where major communist bases had been established in the 1920s and 30s) and Yan'an in Shaanxi (the war-time party base), as well as Beijing itself (home to Mao Zedong) -- became the loci of mass movements of Red Guards from 1966 until 1968.

Next: From Huhehaote to Yan'an

When complete, this section of the Morning Sun website will feature documentary footage and an original diary tracking a group of Red Guards on their New Long March from Inner Mongolia to Yan'an, as well as stage shows and feature films glorifying the Long March of the 1930s.

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