China Crushes Prodemocracy Demonstration in Tiananmen Square (Great Events from History II: Human Rights Series)
Article abstract: Hundreds of thousands gathered in Tiananmen Square to protest official corruption, and on June 4, 1989, the People’s Liberation Army physically crushed the Democracy Movement, mainly composed of students.
Summary of Event
The Tiananmen Square massacre on June 4, 1989, proved to be the climactic event of the massive demonstrations by the Democracy Movement, a cause backed by hundreds of thousands of student demonstrators and endorsed by millions of other Chinese. These voices were crying out for freedom of speech and better representation in their own affairs. A handbill proclaimed that the Democracy Movement’s “guiding principle is to propagate democratic ideas among the people. Our slogan is to oppose bureaucracy and authoritarianism, and strive for democracy and freedom. The time has come to awaken the democratic ideas that have long been suppressed.”
Decades of suppression led to the wave of demonstrations culminating at Tiananmen Square, but more directly, the 1986 elections sparked the human rights conflagration that left countless martyrs in its ashes and others exiled in the summer of 1989. China’s electoral laws (established in 1953) were modified in 1979 and allegedly provided a four-tier system of representative government: township congresses with two-year terms, county congresses with three-year terms, provincial congresses with five-year terms, and at the top of this...
(The entire section is 2347 words.)
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