23 Year Remembrance of Tiananmen Square – May 8th 1989, Beijing China

Written by Diane Gatterdam

4199_1142899526583_1050321016_30432809_165322_n

Twenty-three years ago on this day Monday May 8th 1989, no one was pausing for a breath. Every day, around the clock, the meetings went on. Student leaders, both moderate and radical, met to ponder their next steps.

4199_1142900006595_1050321016_30432810_7753692_n

4199_1142900326603_1050321016_30432811_5680433_n 4199_1142900406605_1050321016_30432812_6534826_n The Standing Committee of the Politburo met in an emergency session. The meeting ended in a shouting match between Zhao Ziyang and Li Peng when Zhao announced that he intended to visit the students in the square. “Do that,” Li Peng warned, “and you will be held responsible for splitting the Party.”

31039_1394913026763_1050321016_31197846_6759556_n

31039_1394917666879_1050321016_31197934_5596435_n

Knowing that the government wanted the class boycott to ended, the Beida Preparatory Committee posted a dazibao (large letter poster) stating five conditions that the authorities should meet before the students would return to classes.

  1. An apology from the Peoples Daily for its April 26th editorial and a fairer assessment of the student movement
  2. Recognition by the government of the democratically elected student organizations
  3. Disclosure by the State Council of official corruption cases and the establishment of a department to investigate and punish the guilty
  4. The reinstatement of Qin Benli as editor-in chief of the World Economic Herald
  5. Repeal of the ten requirements that had been imposed by the Beijing municipal government for a permit to demonstrate

Another list of demands was also posted and this was creating problems for the Dialogue Delegation, another indication of how the student leaders of the movement had the same goals most the time, but were unable to organize enough to speak with a united voice.

There were so many groups often going off in different directions, the government couldn’t be sure what they were asking for and who was asking for it.

4199_1142900806615_1050321016_30432813_1567628_n

That afternoon Xiang Xiaoji, Shen Tong and two others went back to the liaison office of the Party Central Committee for their reply. They took a taxi again and again were followed by a crowd of reporters.

This time the head of the liaison office for the Central Committee greeted them.

“We don’t have a reply for you,” he said. “But the government feels that dialogue is good, and we are working toward that.”

He gave them the impression that the government was stalling for the time being, but hadn’t ruled out the possibility of meeting with them. The students also felt that there would have been internal struggle within the Party.

The reporters rushed the group as they left the liaison office and asked what had happened inside.

The student responded with “We have no formal reply” and said they were going back to discuss what to do next.

31039_1394919266919_1050321016_31197935_6171856_n

This entry was posted in June Fourth, Under the Tree and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s