Tiananmen Square Tank Man

Tiananmen Square Tanks


Above we have a picture that was taken of tanks moving in to stop the now infamous Tiananmen Square protests. We can see that there is one lone protestor in the photo standing in front of the tanks, unafraid as he takes a stand for his beliefs.

These protests began when students in Chinese Universities rallied a protest on the same day as the funeral of Hu Yaobang, a Chinese liberal who supported economic reform for the country. These students who were similar in their views of reform for their nation rallied together to honor the memory of Hu by voicing their displeasure with the current situation. It happened on April 22nd in 1989 when the students began their demonstration in Tiananmen Square in Beijing and were eventually thousands strong in their protest. Chinese officials of course did not appreciate this act of civil disobedience, so they sent out the police to offer warnings to the crowd to disband, but it only fueled the passion with which the crowd protested. The protests would last for months with more and more citizens joining, making it harder and harder for the government to take action.

Military action was called in by the government on June 3rd and they were ordered to shoot or run over any protestors who tried to interfere. Because of this brutal action, 241 people were killed on June 3rd and 4th simply because of a protest. Since then, the events at Tiananmen Square are often called a massacre in which the voice of the people was silenced by the power of the government. The Chinese Government to this day has banned anyone from performing a memorial or commemorative service for the fallen, although a memorial vigil is still held on the anniversary each year in Hong Kong.