May 16, 1966 – Chairman Mao and the Communist Party of China issue the May 16th Notice signally the beginning of the The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. “Those representatives of the bourgeoisie who have snuck into the Party, the government, the army, and various spheres of culture are a bunch of counter-revolutionary revisionists. Once conditions are ripe, they will seize political power and turn the dictatorship of the proletariat into a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. Some of them we have already seen through; others we have not.” Commonly refered to as the Cultural Revolution, millions of people were persecuted in the violent factional struggles that ensued across the country, and suffered a wide range of abuses including torture, rape, imprisonment, sustained harassment, and seizure of property. A large segment of the population was forcibly displaced and historical, cultural and religious sites were ransacked. China became isolated from the world and images that escaped instilled fear and bewilderment in the west.