Revisiting Tiananmen Square 25 Years On

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

200,000 pro-democracy student protesters face to face with policemen outside the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square 22 April 1989 in Beijing. (CATHERINE HENRIETTE/AFP/Getty)

June 4th is a special day in China, but it is not officially celebrated. Today thousands of security forces are on hand to prevent any rallies or protests that might recall the events at Tiananmen Square a quarter century ago.

Twenty five years ago today, student protests in the Chinese capital turned violent when troops closed in on civilians demonstrating for democratic reforms in Tinanmen Square.

Even all these years later, estimates about just how many people were killed that day vary. But many who survived fled or were jailed.  It was a moment of repression and brutality, but the events in Tiananman Square also opened China to the world and set it on its current path of economic freedom amidst total political control.

Wang Juntao, was among the organizers that day. In 1989, he was arrested for his involvement in the Tiananmen Square protests. After several years in jail, he was exiled from China. He now lives in Queens, New York, where he continues the work of being what he calls a "professional revolutionary." TD Allman was a reporter in Tiananmen 25 years ago today. He reflects back on the protests and the massacre. 


T. D. Allman and Wang Juntao

Produced by:

Mythili Rao


T.J. Raphael

Comments [1]

KIenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

TIANANMEN SQUARE and all other massive rallies to convey with authority the unrighteousness of a governing body do energize the populace to reevaluate the political scenario. Whatever one says or does nowadays is taken as if much thought and conscience deliberating was involved. Too much of what has to be done is simply avoided or rebuked. Civilization requires a sense of common good and search for ways to improve the common lot. Greed accomplishes distrust, even hatred, makes cooperation difficult if not impossible. I remember singing in Europe in the 1960s how deep was the hatred of the Germans, even more than 15 years after the second World War. We sense, no know,what many in our country feel about our own internal struggles.

Jul. 02 2014 08:06 PM

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