Archives for the Date June 4th, 2019

soldiers-of-war: CHINA. Beijing. June 3, 1989. In the afternoon…


CHINA. Beijing. June 3, 1989. In the afternoon before the massacre, as thousands of Chinese troops rolled into the heart of Beijing, the mother of one of the students begs a young soldier to put down his arms. “So many of these soldiers were peers of the students, trucked in from the provinces,” says Turnley. “The mother was saying, ‘These are your dreams as well, turn back.’ I think the soldiers had no idea what they were mixed up in and were in shock.”

Photograph: David Turnley/Corbis

shihlun: On June 5, 1989, a young couple waits beneath…


On June 5, 1989, a young couple waits beneath Jianguomenwai bridge on
the fringe of Beijing’s diplomatic area, as PLA tanks roll above them.
The previous day, tanks moved on Tiananmen Square to quell student
protests that had been winning widespread support. The massacre was
followed by heavy repression.

Photograph: LIU Heung-Shing 劉香成

soldiers-of-war: CHINA. Beijing. April to June 1989. Tiananmen…


CHINA. Beijing. April to June 1989. Tiananmen Square massacre.

The Tiananmen Square protests were student-led demonstrations in Beijing in 1989. The students called for democracy, greater accountability, freedom of the press, and freedom of speech, though they were loosely organised and their goals varied. At the height of the protests, about a million people would assemble in the Square (see picture 2). The protests were forcibly suppressed after the government declared martial law. In what became widely known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre, troops with assault rifles and tanks killed unarmed civilians trying to block the military’s advance towards Tiananmen Square. The number of civilian deaths has been estimated at anywhere between hundreds and thousands.

Public memory of the Tiananmen Square protests has been suppressed by the authorities since 1989. Textbooks have little, if any, information related to the protests. Print media containing reference to the protests must be consistent with the government’s version of events. Following the protests, officials also banned controversial films and books, and shut down a large number of newspapers. Within a year, 12 percent of all newspapers, 8 percent of publishing companies, 13 percent of social science periodicals and more than 150 films were banned or shut down.

Currently, many Chinese citizens are reluctant to speak about the protests because of potential repercussions. Many young people born after 1980 are completely unfamiliar with the events and are apathetic about politics while older intellectuals no longer aspire for political change and instead focus on economic issues. Youth in China are generally unaware of the events that took place, of the symbols such as tank man (see last picture), or of the significance of the date June 4 itself. The entire surface of Tiananmen Square was later resurfaced, to remove evidence of blood stains left there after the crackdown. 

Tiananmen Square, 1989


30 years ago, in April 1989, people from across China gathered in Tiananmen square to mourn the death of Communist party leader Hu Yaobang. This led to peaceful protests across China (the majority of the protesters being students). They were protesting for “an end to official corruption and for political and economic reform”. On May 13 student protesters went on strike tin an attempt to talk to the communist party leaders. There was supposedly one million people who joined the protest in Beijing. The party leaders met the protesters on May 19 and the hunger strike ended. On May 20 martial law, in an attempt to restore order, was declared and thousands of protesters took to the streets across China in the following weeks.

The official China news agency said on May 1 that ” ‘The troops are by no means targeted at the students. Under no circumstances will [the troops] harm innocent people, let alone young students.” On the 3rd / 4th of June the government sent thousands of armed troops along with hundreds of military vehicles into the city center. This was done to clear the streets of protesters and hopefully restore order without violence. whilst approaching the crowds, and without warning, they opened fire. Some civilians killed by gunshot, other crushed below tanks and other military vehicles. Nobody knows how many died but estimates range between hundreds to several thousand.

After the protest, the Chinese hunted down people involved in the protests. Thousands of people were unfairly tried and then tortured, executed or put into prison. This is known as the Tiananmen crackdown. The crackdown along with the attacks are a taboo subject in China and has been censored. You can be punished for talking about it in public. However, China’s defense minister, Wei Fenghe was asked a question during a regional forum in Singapore about Tiananmen. He defended the crackdown, stating “That incident was a political turbulence and the central government took measures to stop the turbulence, which is a correct policy,”.

anatomicdeadspace: Bodies of dead civilians lie among mangled…


Bodies of dead civilians lie among mangled bicycles near Tiananmen Square in the early morning of June 4, 1989. 

thats-the-way-it-was: June 4 – 5 1989: The Tiananmen Square…


June 4 – 5 1989: The Tiananmen Square protests are violently ended in Beijing by the People’s Liberation Army, with at least 241 dead.

Photo: Tank Man (also known as the Unknown Protester or Unknown Rebel) is the nickname of an unidentified man who stood in front of a column of tanks on June 5, 1989, the morning after the Chinese military had suppressed the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 by force. As the lead tank maneuvered to pass by the man, he repeatedly shifted his position in order to obstruct the tank’s attempted path around him. The incident was filmed and seen worldwide and is considered one of the most iconic images of the 20th century. (Jeff Widener / Associated Press)

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