Beijing 1989

By Torbjörn Andersson – The Tiananmen Square Massacre 1989. The students’ peaceful demonstrations started in April and were crushed by the army on the night between June 3rd and 4th. They demanded democratic reform, freedom of the press and a decrease in corruption. On April 26th, the People’s Daily condemned the protests, calling them counter-revolutionary. A hunger strike was started on May 13th. This put pressure on the government, which was divided over the demands of the students. Zhao Ziyang, then General Secretary of the Communist Party, expressed certain sympathy for the demonstrators, while Premier Li Peng and the previously pro-reform Deng Xiaoping rejected any kind of dialogue. Martial law was declared on May 20th. When workers started joining the demonstrations, demanding free trade unions, the People’s Liberation Army was called in. Details of the number of people killed vary from 400 to 2 600. The subject of the student revolt of 1989 is still taboo in China. In 2006, Google agreed to remove all details regarding the massacre from the internet. Photographer Torbjörn Anderssons Pictures story from Beijing 1989 are a unique document.