Written by Diane Gatterdam
Twenty-three years ago on this day Tuesday May 9th 1989, these first days of May later would be described as the “Low Tide Days” in the student movement because they seemed very quite.
After the earlier waves of demonstrations, students were meeting and planning on campuses what their next moves should be.
Class strike continued only at Beida and Beijing Normal Universities.
The Dialogue Delegation was waiting for a response from the government to their request.
A government official approached Shen Tong on campus and said he would help them to get the dialogue “through the back door” unofficially. He also said “ You students should remember to speak with one voice,” he advised. “I will continue to negotiate with the government if you do your best to make sure that the Dialogue Delegation is organized.”
The independent student organizations were either engaged in infighting or drifting without a clear agenda. To most students the movement appeared to be over.
Reporters from official media organizations took some concrete action on May 9,1989.
After joining the students during the demonstration five days ago, 1,013 reporters organized themselves and published an open letter of their own and delivered it to the “All-China Journalist Association.”
Led by Li Datong of the China Youth Daily, they demanded press freedom and a revaluation of the decision to shutdown the Shanghai newspaper “World Economics Herald.”
Both reporters and editors signed the petition.
After hearing of the reporter’s petition, students announced that they would launch a bicycle march the next morning to support the reporters, as well as to show the city that they had not given up themselves.