25 Years Ago: Students March for Democracy

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the nationwide, student-led democracy movement in China, and the subsequent military crackdown in Beijing. To mark the occasion, CDT is posting a series of original news articles from that year, beginning with the death of Hu Yaobang on April 15 and continuing through the tumultuous spring. The full series can be read here.

From the April 18, 1989 New York Times:

Several thousand students marched through the capital in predawn hours today, chanting democratic slogans and singing revolutionary songs as they mourned the ousted Communist Party leader Hu Yaobang and called for a more democratic government.

The demonstration was the most significant sign of unrest in China since student demonstrations for democracy were crushed more than two years ago.

One student leader announced to a cheering crowd that the students had three demands: an official reappraisal of Mr. Hu, an apology from the Government for various unspecified mistakes, and a ”collective resignation,” apparently of all the country’s leaders.

Later, other student leaders added further demands, such as democratic elections, the release of China’s political prisoners, and freedom of the press.

[This series was originally posted on CDT in 2009 to mark the 20th anniversary of June 4th.]

April 18, 2014 12:01 AM
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