Monday, April 20, 2009

This Day in 1989: April 20, Beijing Normal University and Peking University Students March in Rain

April 20, 1989 was a relatively quiet day. Many students had a sleepless night before, either protesting at Xinhuamen or establishing the Preparatory Committee at Peking University. But exaggerated account of police violence at Xinhuamen were propagating through campuses in the late morning, stirring up strong emotions.

At Beijing Normal University, Wuer Kaixi stood in pouring rain to talk to anyone who was willing to listen about the night before. He was able to gather a few hundred of his schoolmates by mid-afternoon and they launched a protesting march to Tiananmen Square. His troops were decimated by the storm along the way and only a handful reached the destination.

A similar, but bigger, protest march also developed out of Peking University, most of its students had missed the action at Xinhuamen. A few thousands of them made to Tiananmen Square in the pouring rain. They eventually dispersed.

The attention, meanwhile, was turning to the upcoming state funeral for Hu Yaobang, scheduled in two days.

Days of 1989

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