Tiananmen massacre / 3-4 June 1989
The protests of 1989 resulted in the massacre of Chinese protesters in the streets to the west of the square and adjacent areas. Eyewitness accounts of the events on the night of June 3 and the early morning of June 4, 1989 continue to emerge from former student leaders and intellectuals, broadening the scope of the original reporting of the massacre by Western media outlets. This was the scene for the iconic image of Tank Man, where a column of PLA tanks was stopped in its tracks by a brave protester. No one knows if the man in the image is still alive. Some Western reporters who were on the square during the unfolding events reported that they saw no one actually die on the square itself, though they did see bloodied people but could not confirm whether they were dead or injured. Further reports show that the theatre of the massacre spanned across Beijing, and was densely concentrated on Chang’an Avenue, literally the "Forever Peace Street," or the main approach to Tiananmen gate where citizens returned to locate missing protesters driven from the square hours before. Video footage shows the military repeatedly opening fire here on unarmed citizens and medical personnel advancing toward Tiananmen Square to locate the missing and assist the wounded.