35 Years After Tiananmen Square Massacre: Why We Must Never Forget


This year marks the 35th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, a dark chapter in China's history that saw thousands of pro-democracy protesters brutally suppressed by the Chinese government. The events of June 4, 1989, remain a poignant reminder of the ongoing struggle for freedom and democracy in the face of authoritarianism.

The Tiananmen Square protests began in April 1989, sparked by the death of Hu Yaobang, a former Communist Party leader known for his reformist views. As the movement grew, it attracted more than a million participants, including students, intellectuals, and ordinary citizens, all calling for political and economic reforms​​.


On the night of June 3 and into the early hours of June 4, the Chinese government declared martial law and deployed the People’s Liberation Army to quash the protests. Troops armed with live ammunition moved into Tiananmen Square, resulting in a massacre that left hundreds, if not thousands, dead. Images of tanks rolling through the streets and the iconic "Tank Man" standing in defiance quickly spread worldwide, galvanizing international condemnation and leading to sanctions against China​.

The Chinese government has since engaged in an extensive campaign to erase the memory of the massacre from public consciousness. Commemorations are banned, and discussions about the events are heavily censored within China. This suppression has only heightened the importance of remembering the massacre and honoring those who stood against oppression​.


The Tiananmen Square massacre is not just a historical event; it is a symbol of the enduring fight for human rights and democracy. The bravery of those who protested against the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) authoritarian rule continues to inspire activists worldwide. Their struggle underscores the universal desire for freedom and the high cost many are willing to pay to achieve it​.

As we reflect on the 35th anniversary, it's crucial to recognize the broader implications of the massacre. The CCP's response to the protests revealed its true nature and its willingness to use extreme measures to maintain control.

This historical context is vital in understanding China's current political landscape and its ongoing human rights abuses, including the repression of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang and Tibet, and the crackdown on freedoms in Hong Kong​​.

Remembering Tiananmen is not just about honoring the past; it is about committing to a future where such atrocities are not repeated. By keeping the memory of June 4 alive, we support those within China who continue to fight for freedom and human rights, often at great personal risk. It also serves as a powerful reminder of the resilience and courage required to stand up against tyranny, a lesson that resonates universally​​.


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