Thursday, May 29, 2008

NYT Archive 1989: Global Demonstration

Sunday, May 28, 1989, was designated for a global demonstration for democracy in China. Chinese students and other ethnic Chinese demonstrated all over the world to show their solidarity with compatriots in Tiananmen Square. The demonstration in Beijing itself on that day was, however, a low key event, as New York Times reported on May 29, 1989:
About 100,000 people on foot and on bicycles streamed through the capital today to demand more democracy and the resignation of Prime Minister Li Peng. The police and soldiers made no move to interfere despite martial law restrictions and the Government's strict warnings against demonstrations.
The students, who are increasingly aware of support from Chinese around the world, hailed the protest as part of an ''international Chinese people's demonstration day'' to put pressure on the Government. Other demonstrations were held in several Chinese cities, including the economic capital, Shanghai, as well as in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia and the United States.
One of the largest protests was in Hong Kong, which held a political rally with a crowd estimated at more than 300,000. Such protests are likely to put new pressure on the Chinese authorities, who are sensitive to turbulence in Hong Kong in the years before they inherit the British territory in 1997.
The main demonstration in the United States was at Washington DC. NYT reported that 1,200 people also protested in New York City.

Sheryl WuDunn continued to describe how life was like in the occupied Tiananmen Square, where the students were both in control and at a loss.

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