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Tiananmen Square Massacre

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Published on Jun 16, 2013

The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, also known as the June Fourth Incident in Chinese, were student-led popular demonstrations in Beijing which took place in the spring of 1989 and received broad support from city residents, exposing deep splits within China's political leadership. The protests were forcibly suppressed by hardline leaders who ordered the military to enforce martial law in the country's capital. The crackdown that initiated on June 3--4 became known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre or the June 4 Massacre as troops with assault rifles and tanks inflicted thousands of casualties on unarmed civilians trying to block the military's advance on Tiananmen Square in the heart of Beijing, which student demonstrators had occupied for seven weeks. The scale of military mobilization and the resulting bloodshed were unprecedented in the history of Beijing, a city with a rich tradition of popular protests in the 20th century.

The Chinese government condemned the protests as a "counterrevolutionary riot", and has prohibited all forms of discussion or remembrance of the events since. Due to the lack of information from China, many aspects of the events remain unknown or unconfirmed. Estimates of the death toll range from several hundred to the thousands.

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