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Troops Roll Through Beijing to Crush Protesters

gkisseberth

Colombia

 

20 years ago…

 

 

Troops Roll Through Beijing to Crush ProtestersHundreds Feared Killed as Chinese Fight BackTOOLBOX ResizePrintE-mailCOMMENT 0 Comments COMMENTS ARE CLOSED
WHO'S BLOGGING» Links to this articleBy Daniel SoutherlandSunday, June 4, 1989; 12:00 AM

 

BEIJING—Scores and possibly hundreds of people were killed and hundreds more wounded as tens of thousands of well-armed troops smashed through the heart of Beijing into Tiananmen Square early today wresting control of the city center from angry prodemocracy demonstrators.

THIS STORY

 

Many of the 300,000 protesters flooding the streets when the assault began used makeshift weapons to try to stop the troops from reaching Tiananmen, where they were ordered to crush violently an unprecedented student democracy movement that China's hard-line leaders could not quell by other means. For the first time in six weeks of protests, troops used deadly force and left bleeding bodies sprawled in the streets as they pushed through throngs of people to reach the square.

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By 7:40 a.m., when government authorities announced over Tiananmen Square's loudspeakers that the "rebellion has been suppressed and the soldiers are now in charge of Tiananmen," most of the people on the street had retreated into their homes and few, if any, students remained in the square. A group of several hundred protesters continued to fight soldiers on a street just east of the square, but it appeared that army had taken control of the capital. Fires burned in several places in the city, including in the square, where a 33-foot-high statue of democracy erected by the students was set aflame.

 

It was unclear how many people had been killed and injured because victims were taken to a number of hospitals. Some reports placed the number of fatalities at several hundred.

 

A doctor at Beijing's Youdian Hospital estimated that at least 500 people died in the clashes, the Associated Press reported. State-run radio and television acknowledged some deaths without giving numbers and said: "It was necessary to undertake that action to save lives and property."

Government-run television said more than 1,000 soldiers had been injured.

 

Pandemonium erupted when the assault began late Saturday night with troops firing automatic weapons at protesters in the streets, shooting indiscriminately in some areas. While the People's Liberation Army was warmly welcomed 40 years ago when it triumphantly entered Beijing without a shot, today it met resistance every step of the way from a citizenry that has lost faith in the Communist Party and its leaders. 

 

 

 

 

 

03:25 AM Jun 04 2009 |

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KarenZ

KarenZ

China

What makes me sad is that so many things I strongly dissagree have happened over the past decades on this land where I was born and has been living on.

Lately a friend of mine and I talked about the current economic situation here and thought that the slack economy with many people left unemployed may lead to another uprising specially from the students. Many college students face unemployment right out of campus.

It might not be a bad thing for a change.

09:49 AM Jun 04 2009 |

gkisseberth

Colombia

thanks for your input, Karen. In another thread I posted an observation that many Chinese don't know anything about the June 4 protests; that the government has pretty effectively erased this from the national memory. Is that your experience?

05:57 PM Jun 04 2009 |

Novita

Novita

Germany

I'm wondering if this e-baby site about this sensitiv thread is blocked by the Chinese government in China, too.

I've also posted two threads aboout this issue and nobody seems to be interested. Neither any Chinese, nor anybody else.

That's very sad.

06:03 PM Jun 04 2009 |

fabs1

fabs1

United Kingdom

Good question.

06:21 PM Jun 04 2009 |

KarenZ

KarenZ

China

Yes Greg, many of us do not know what happened in 1989 specially the younger generation. But I learnt the event back in my university years from a radio program named Radio Free Asia, which Chinese gvt has kept blocking for years. (http://www.rfa.org/) I listened to RFA into the nights from time to time and got to know many unbiased facts/news that one could never get from the mainstream media here. RFA was not easy to catch due to the inteference of the communist party with noisy Pekin Opera. For people who want to know the truth, they will and gain a different aspect towards what's happening. We have an old Chinese saying: you are in the dark (ignorant) if you listen to one side of the story and you will be in the light (enlightened) if you listen to both. However, from what I see, most people here do not seem to be interested in what's happening in the gvt. I kind of think they are too busy making a living here. Competition to gain limited resorces with the large population.

03:41 AM Jun 05 2009 |

KarenZ

KarenZ

China

Hi Novita, as far as I know I don't think Chinese gvt could block the threads on this site however they want to. This is a US website that aims to improve English and commications for people from around the globe.

The way I see it, it's just that Chinese people are not used to discussing topics like this; we were born into a society with only one voice, from the communist propaganda that is. Freedom of speech is not a norm. And again, they may not think it concerns them much. I believe education makes a difference in people's awareness. With internet Chinese are open to the world standard and gradual change may take place. It takes time.

04:03 AM Jun 05 2009 |

Novita

Novita

Germany

In the New York Times of 2 June 2009 I read:

 

BEIJINGChina’s government censors have begun to block access to the Internet services Twitter, Flickr, Hotmail and Microsoft’s live.com, broadening an already extraordinary effort to shield its citizens from any hint of Thursday’s 20th anniversary of the military crackdown that ended the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/03/world/asia/03china.html?_r=1 

 

All these sites are US websites, too. Aren't they?

 

This is a US website that aims to improve English and commications for people from around the globe.

 

I believe education makes a difference in people's awareness.

 

Asprirations to improve language skills, communication, education to gain knowledge and to advance an opinion are all "good" reasons for censorship by any political authoritarian system.  

 

08:56 AM Jun 05 2009 |

KarenZ

KarenZ

China

I agree. I'm thinking why the gvt does not contribute the time, effort, money in blocking the information to the Hope schools in the remote west and improving the well-being of the general public.

01:21 AM Jun 06 2009 |

Devil4444

Devil4444

China

Frankly speaking,as a Chinese,I completely have no idea about june 4 protest,it was said that our government blocked on the internet,in fact,I got little information when I searchde by google or other search engines,I think pro-democracy is a taboo in China,whereas it is a public topic in HongKong

02:34 AM Jun 06 2009 |