The Tiananmen Massacre

By: Dillon Capalongo

A Simple Protest Gone Wrong

Tiananmen Square is a large tourist attraction in Beijing, China. It holds museums, monuments, and other important Chinese buildings. Political reformer Hu Yaobang died in 1989, causing extreme grief among the population. He was the only man in the government encouraging democracy and rights for the common. His death was a martyr for many, especially students, because Yaobang was protesting student rights.
What Happened In Tiananmen Square?

A Protest Sparks

- Starting on April 15th, the outraged students gathered on Tiananmen Square where Yaobang was buried to protest political reform.

- At first there were only 20 to 30, though quickly word spread of the student led protest.

- The calm protest to give a message to the government quickly turned into a nonviolent riot against the government.

- The student wrote a declaration demanding accelerated political and economic reform, guarantee constitutional freedoms, fight corruption, adopt a press law, and allow the establishment of privately run newspapers.

- Hunger Strikers - people who starved themselves until they got what they wanted - joined in and influenced others to join in fasting.

- At first the government decided to ignore it and let it pass, but it only got worse.

China's True Colors

- People from all around the world came in to join the growing protest against Communism in China which was now being globally televised.

- The protest was ignored by the government until the last two weeks of May, when Deng Xiaoping declared Martial Law- when a government threatens to use force to end a conflict- on the protest.

- China sent a fleet of tanks and heavily armed men to Tiananmen Square to end the protest.

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The Massacre

- Towards the end of May, the tanks arrived. Though, the citizens were prepared.

- The citizens made huge barricades out of anything they could find across all the road entrances to Tiananmen Square.

- This delayed the army for two weeks until they finally broke through the last barrier.

- On June 4th, the army open fired on the protesting crowd, with the public desperately scattering and throwing bottles at them.

- Most fought back, and killed nearly 100 soldiers compared to the 200-1000 public deaths

- The remaining crowd fled the scene.

The New World Enemy

- China's solution to the protest greatly upset many outside countries

- The United Nations shunned them for acting on the citizens that way

- Many of China's allies declared they would no longer help them in times of need.

- China banned any public information of the massacre getting out, so most information of it was lost.