Tiananmen Square

By: Lindsey Hall

Background Information

  • Tiananmen Square is located outside of Forbidden City, Beijing
  • The Forbidden City got its name from the fact that for a long time common people weren't allowed inside
  • Located between Gate of Heavenly Peace and Front Gate
  • Tiananmen Square is known for being the home of many ceremonies
  • Was accessed by the public after 1911 revolution
  • This led to the formation of the Chinese Republic
  • Communist landmarks were built in the square
  • Monument to People's Heroes (1958)
  • Mao Zedong Memorial Hall (1977)

Information About the Protest

  • Leader Hu Yaobang dies on April 15, 1989
  • He believed in giving the people more rights
  • Students gather in the square to honor his death and things soon turn to protesting
  • On May 29, 1989, a foam-and-paper-mâché that looks like the Statue of Liberty is brought into the square
  • The statue signified the goal of making the communist government become more lenient
  • It was interpreted as an insult by the government
  • In a week, 100,000 people had gathered to protest reform
  • Some went on a hunger strike to make a bigger statement and draw attention to their cause
  • The protesting began during the cooling down period of the Cold War
  • Tank Man: a protester stands in the way of a group of tanks. His identity is never discovered

Effects of the Protest

  • On May 20, students are commanded to evacuate
  • Local police are unable to stop the students that refused to leave
  • The people beg with the police to not hurt them and some even join the cause
  • This is when the army came in, staying on the outskirts of Beijing until June 2
  • The army finally heads in and students are beaten and shot
  • Some believe fewer than 300 died but others say up to 3,000 died
  • The attack lasted for 4 days
  • After the protests, many people are thrown into prison or publicly executed
  • Students belonging to more prominent and influential families received lighter sentences
  • After the students and other protesters, harsher rulers regained control of the little power the citizens had just gained
  • Many not in the immediate area don't know about the violence the Chinese government had used
  • The Chinese government stopped news feeds displaying the violence
  • The protesters were portrayed as violent aggressors in media
  • The event was a "taboo topic" meaning it wasn't something you were allowed to talk about
  • If mentioned at all, it was called the "June Fourth Incident"
  • The events in China had a huge impact on other countries
  • The image of the Tank Man (protester that blocked the way of tanks trying to get in) stood out
  • The World Bank and other companies stopped funding China
Big image
1989 Raw Video: Man vs. Chinese tank Tiananmen square