This past week commemorates the 25 anniversary of the 1989 protests for freedom which took place in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China, and the subsequent crackdown by the Chinese government which put an end to the youthful demonstrations for freedom and a better life in China. This post is a tribute to that protest.
The protests began in April 1989 after reformers in the ruling Communist party lost a power struggle with hard liners. Students launched hunger strikes in support of reform, and protests erupted across China, most notably in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, where an enormous crowd of students gathered.
The military was called, and for a while, there was a stand-off, best represented by the remarkable picture at the top of this post, where a single protester held off an entire column of tanks.
The protest continued amidst a celebratory and liberating atmosphere. The protesters set up a makeshift statue symbolizing freedom, one of the more memorable images that came from the event.
Sadly, the Tiananmen Square demonstrations, and the hope that came with it, was suddenly put down by the Chinese military, who cleared the square in a brutal operation that resulted in hundreds of deaths and thousands wounded.
The ideals of the 1989 Tiananmen Square demonstrators live on, and symbolize the global desire for freedom that people have. An ideal symbolized yet again later that same year of 1989, when the Berlin Wall came down, and the Iron Curtain collapsed.