Tiananmen Square Case Study

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The Tiananmen Square protests, commonly known in Chinese as the June Fourth Incident (六四事件)[a] were student-led demonstrations in Beijing in 1989. More broadly, it refers to the popular national movement inspired by the Beijing protests during that period, sometimes referred to as the '89 Democracy Movement (八九民运). The protests were forcibly suppressed after the government declared martial law. In what became widely known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre, troops with assault rifles and tanks killed at least several hundred student demonstrators trying to block the military's advance towards Tiananmen Square. The number of civilian deaths has been estimated at anywhere between the hundreds to the thousands. Set against a backdrop of rapid economic…show more content…
Hu's death provided the initial impetus for students to gather in large numbers. In university campuses, many posters appeared eulogizing Hu, calling for a revival of Hu's legacy. Within days, most posters were writing about broader political issues, such as freedom of the press, democracy, and corruption. Small spontaneous gatherings to mourn Hu began on April 15 around Monument to the People's Heroes at Tiananmen Square. On the same day, many students at Peking University (PKU) and Tsinghua University erected shrines, and joined the gathering in Tiananmen Square in a piecemeal fashion. Organized student gatherings also began on a small scale in Xi'an and Shanghai on April 16. On April 17, students at the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL) made a large wreath to commemorate Hu Yaobang. Its laying-party was on April 17 and a larger-than-expected crowd assembled. At five p.m., 500 CUPL students reached the eastern gate of the Great Hall of the People, near Tiananmen Square, to mourn Hu. The gathering featured speakers from various backgrounds giving public orations commemorating Hu and discussing social problems. However, it was soon deemed obstructive to the operation of the Great Hall, so police intervened and attempted to disperse the students by
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