Around 1.5 million Hong Kongers gathered in late May, 1989 to show solidarity with protesters in Tiananmen Square…
…Meanwhile, in Beijing, thousands of students, workers and hunger strikers were demonstrating against corruption, inflation and the lack of civil liberties under one-party rule. The photos below show the days and weeks in the run-up to the notorious crackdown on June 4th.
Former Communist Party chief Hu Yaobang died on April 15th aged 73. People gathered in Tiananmen Square in mourning and in protest over China’s slow pace of reform. Thousands joined demonstrations nationwide with some students calling for more freedom and democracy.
Despite warnings from the government, thousands continued to gather in Beijing in late April. On April 26th, the People’s Daily accused protesters of rejecting the Communist Party, fuelling anger and leading huge pro-democracy demonstrations on May 4th across several cities.
Hundreds of students began an indefinite hunger strike on May 13th ahead of a visit by USSR leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
Zhao Ziyang visited the square on May 19th appealing for compromise. He was accompanied by Li Peng, his hard-live rival, and Wen Jiabao. His actions led to him being ‘purged’ and put under house arrest for 15 years.
On May 20th, martial law was declared in several districts as the hunger strike became a ‘sit-in’. Troops closed in on Tiananmen Square. Huge numbers of civilians blocks their entry as soliders were ordered not to fire upon civilians.
The unrest continued into June as China’s leaders formed a plan to end the protests by force.
Hong Kong’s Candlelit vigil 2014 will be held next Wednesday in Victoria Park.