Thirty Years Since Tiananmen
Photos by Forrest Anderson
The government responded by ordering the army to use tanks and automatic weapons to shoot its way through the crowds and force the students to abandon their cause and the square. An unknown number of people numbering at least in the hundreds, were killed or wounded in the crackdown on June 4, 1989, mostly in the streets leading toward Tiananmen Square. Thousands more were arrested and detained, with the most active protesters imprisoned. Some workers who joined the protests were executed. Thousands of officials who did not support the crackdown, including Communist Party Secretary Zhao Ziyang, were ousted from their positions in a widespread government shakeup.
The 30th anniversary of the crackdown is Tuesday.
My husband Forrest Anderson and I covered the protests, he as a photographer for Time magazine and I as a stringer for Time.
Forrest’s photographs and those of 11 other photojournalists who covered the demonstrations and crackdown are part of an anniversary exhibit, Images of Tiananmen and Beyond: Twelve Photojournalists Tell the Story, at the Foreign Correspondents Club in Hong Kong, North Block, 2 Lower Albert Road, Central, Hong Kong from June 6-30.
The exhibit is open to non-club members from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and 3-5:30 p.m. daily.
An opening reception will be held on June 6 at 6:30 p.m. at which attendees can chat with journalists who witnessed the protests.
Forrest and I also are releasing a second edition of our photo-illustrated book, China’s Silenced Scream: A Visual History of the 1989 Tiananmen Protests.
The new edition draws on information that has come to light in the past 30 years about the main participants on the student and government sides, as well as the reaction of U.S. government officials and other foreign observers to the crackdown.
The original version of the book, which is no longer in print, told the story of the protests and crackdown using more than 150 photos that Forrest and some of our photojournalistic colleagues took. We have updated the book to place the protests and crackdown in the broader context of Chinese history and politics before and since 1989. It considers the development of Chinese politics with regard to democracy, human rights and other issues about which the students protested, as well as the Tiananmen incident’s impact on Sino-U.S. and international affairs.
The book looks at how democracy, state ideology, corruption and other concerns that the students protested about are dealt with in China today and how they affect the now-powerful nation’s domestic and foreign policies.
The book draws on a deeper understanding of the protests that I gained while completing a masters’ degree in public history with an emphasis on modern Chinese politics and in subsequent research and writing about Chinese political history.
The book is a valuable resource for students, teachers, and anyone else who seeks to understand the history and significance of the movement. It includes more than 160 historic photographs, an index and a bibliography.
The following are photographs of key moments during the protests and crackdown:
The April 15, 1989 death of Hu Yaobang, the former Communist Party General Secretary and a liberal reformer who protected many intellectuals who spoke out against government repression, triggered the Tiananmen protests. University students placed hundreds of wreathes and banners at the Monument to the People's Heroes on Tiananmen Square to memorialize Hu and protest his 1986 ouster over previous student protests.
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