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June Fourth 30th Anniversary (“六四”三十周年)

On This Day — June 3, 1989:

  • 1:00 a.m. The troops have blocked off all approaches to Tiananmen Square. Various people who witnessed the killings of civilians report to the BWAF and to the students’ Command Headquarters, urging them to withdraw.
  • 2:00 a.m. The first troop transport trucks enter the square. Chai Ling and Li Lu call on those remaining on the square to gather around the Monument to the People’s Heroes.
  • 3:00 a.m. Hou Dejian and Zhou Duo negotiate with army officials to give the students time to vacate the square. Withdrawal will be unconditional, officials reply, adding that it must take place before daybreak. They indicate the southeast as the safest way to exit.
  • 4:00 a.m. On the square the lights go off. The statue of the Goddess of Democracy is toppled by a tank.
  • 4:30 a.m. The tanks and the troops stationed in the north corner of the Square begin to move forward. Students vote and eventually agree to leave. The soldiers shoot out the students’ loud speakers. Led by the Command Headquarters, the students walk away from the Monument to the People’s Heroes toward the southeast part of the square. A row of armored vehicles moves slowly toward the monument. Other troops arrive from the west, squeezing the crowd. As the students leave, army tanks crush tents on their way. The student guards are the last to leave, with soldiers about 18 feet behind them firing warning shots.
  • 5:00 a.m. As the students pass Qianmen, residents line the streets and applaud. The army throws tear gas and shoots at students and citizens near the square and in other areas of the capital. Some people are crushed under tanks. The number of victims is not known.
  • 6:20 a.m. Tanks crush retreating students.

See HRIC chronology and resources.

China rises but 30 years after Tiananmen, crackdown remains taboo
Al Jazeera, June 4, 2019

HRIC’s “Unforgotten” project: profiles of June Fourth Victims
‐ Project subsite homepage
‐ HRIC statement
‐ Profiles of the “Unforgotten”

30 years ago: Crackdown in Beijing
China Digital Times, June 4, 2019

Beijing silent as tight security surrounds Tiananmen Square anniversary
The Guardian, June 4, 2019

In Beijing, disappearances and security controls ensure quiet Tiananmen anniversary
Los Angeles Times, June 4, 2019

Tiananmen anniversary draws silence in Beijing but emotion in Hong Kong
The New York Times, June 4, 2019

“We must do more than remember”: what Tiananmen means to the Chinese diaspora
The Guardian, June 4, 2019

Tiananmen Square: What happened in the protests of 1989?
BBC, June 4, 2019

Reporting from Tiananmen Square in 1989: “I saw a lot I will never forget”
Al Jazeera, June 4, 2019

”In the streets, anguish, fury and tears”
The New York Times, June 4, 2019

Interview: “The ideas the students came up with were very good”
Radio Free Asia, June 4, 2019

Tiananmen Square: Japanese diplomats feared Chinese troops would storm embassy
South China Morning Post, June 4, 2019

EU still mourns Tiananmen crackdown victims: spokeswoman
Reuters, June 4, 2019

China rises but 30 years after Tiananmen, crackdown remains taboo
Al Jazeera, June 4, 2019

“I have never again returned to Tiananmen”
Voice of America, June 4, 2019

“Bearing witness is really all we have”: Memories of covering the Tiananmen aftermath
NPR, June 4, 2019

Thirty years on, China is still trying to whitewash the Tiananmen crackdown from its history
The Conversation, June 3, 2019

Remembering June 4th
China Digital Times, June 3, 2019

Tiananmen 30 years later: “Hope has not died” say Chinese dissidents
The Christian Science Monitor, June 3, 2019

Beijing after Tiananmen: Part 1
The Diplomat, June 3, 2019

“Sacred day”: Chinese remember Tiananmen killings by fasting
The Guardian, June 3, 2019

Washington Tiananmen vigil attracts first-timers for 30th anniversary
South China Morning Post, June 3, 2019

30 Years Ago: Residents Block Army Move
China Digital Times, June 3, 2019

30 years after Tiananmen, “Tank Man” remains an icon and a mystery
The New York Times, June 4, 2019

He stayed at Tiananmen to the end. Now he wonders what it meant.
The New York Times, June 3, 2019

Tiananmen Square crackdown: 21 most-wanted student leaders’ stories
South China Morning Post, June 3, 2019



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