It was 20 years ago today…

Tiananmen Square

beijing-tianan-square-2004

Well, actually, May 4, 1989 was a major day of escalation in the Tiananmen Square protests. On that day 100,000 people gathered seeking greater press freedoms and a direct open dialogue with the communist government.

tiananmen_square_protests_wide_angle

Contrary to popular belief, the protests were not about bringing down the government. Although often unfocused in their message, most of the student groups and others sought greater openness from the existing government and an implementation within that government of the democratic principles inherent in Marxist theory.

Little did they know that they were kicking off a process that would bring tanks down upon them on June 4th and inspire the people of Eastern Europe to throw off the governments imposed on them at the end of WWII.

I plan on chronicling the time points of that history—many of which make up my earliest civic-minded memories—in the weeks and months ahead. Stay tuned.

Execution by Yue Minjun (1995)

Execution by Yue Minjun (1995)

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