Sunday, May 25, 2014

Documentary Review: Tiananmen Square: Declassified

This is a Documentary from The History Channel indicated they are revealing documents just released about the 1989 issues at Beijing's Tiananmen Square.  This is the largest gathering place in the world.  The demonstrations started with students, and eventually spread to the general population as workers and others sympathetic joined.  The students started with requesting more democracy, although not necessarily sure what that meant.  The catalyst which lead to the protest was the death of reformist Hu Yaobang.
Initially the protests were tolerate, but eventually they became an embarrassment to the Communist Party and not to be tolerated.  At their high point, over 1.25 million people were in the square protesting.
When the government refused to hear the protestors, they turned to hunger strike to put more pressure on the government.  When they finally consented to a meeting, they lectured the students as if they were misbehaving children.  There was no negotiation.  The government response using force was condoned by Deng Xiaopeng, the supreme ruler.
On June 4 armed troops with tanks approached the Square from all sides.  Most of those killed by the army were people on the outskirts of the protest, rather than those in the center.  Many unarmed citizens, workers and commoners, were killed.  There is no indication of the number.  The government released that 1000 troops and a few hundred civilians were killed.  However others have put the citizen count of deaths in the thousands. 

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