American Samizdat

Wednesday, June 03, 2009. *
Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989 | The Tank Man
T-shirt worn by one of the students T-shirt worn by one of the students (Call number: BG P1/366). From Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989 at the IISG. "...The Chinese people's movement started as a demonstration by Beijing University students in April 1989, and in seven weeks grew into a massive protest that impressed and shook the world. Fortunately, right from the beginning, many people in China realized the significance of the events. Thanks to those people, who for obvious reasons have to remain anonymous, the prolific production of all kinds of documents by the activists was monitored. As a result, the movement is probably one of the best documented. A sinologist from Leiden University, Frank Pieke, was living in Beijing at the time, on an anthropological research mission. He and his colleagues started collecting documents, taking photographs, and contacting Chinese participants at once. In May, the Russian president Gorbachev paid an official visit to China, and Western journalists flocked to Beijing to cover the event. They were able to present eyewitness reports of the peoples' movement and at the same time act as an unofficial repository for documents. All these documents and pictures gathered by Chinese demonstrators, by Frank Pieke, his colleagues, and journalists now form the "Chinese People's Movement" collection, which is kept at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam. Also... The Tank Man on PBS Frontline. "...After all others had been silenced, his lonely act of defiance against the Chinese regime amazed the world. What became of him? And 20 years later, has China succeeded in erasing this event from its history?"
posted by Andrew at 1:19 PM
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