Saturday, April 25, 2009

This Day in 1989: April 25, Students Decide to Plan a March

Students in Beijing continued their class strike to its second day on April 25, 1989. They spent their free time going on streets in small groups to publicize their petitions and protests. On campus, they were also busy establishing their own independent organizations. Although only a couple of days old, the Preparatory Committee at Peking University was already going through a series of reorganizations amid personnel confusion and infighting.

In the afternoon, a group of leaders from the State Council, the National Education Commission, and the Beijing city government showed up at Tsinghua University for a dialogue with students, auspiciously at the invitation of Tsinghua students. The news caused a big chaos on that campus. Fearing for being singled out to betray the movement, Tsinghua students boycotted the dialogue and its new independent student union practically dissolved with mass resignations.

In Shanghai, a vocal newspaper World Economics Herald published the proceedings of a symposium in which prominent intellectuals voiced their sympathy for Hu Yaobang. The paper was being recalled.

But the main actions continued to center in Beijing. The newly formed Beijing Students Autonomous Federation held its first general meeting at University of Political Science and Law. In a somewhat clandestine atmosphere, hundreds of student delegates debated on the merit of a plan to hold a large-scale demonstration on April 27. It was during a break of this meeting in the evening when students heard the first broadcast of the People's Daily editorial, to be published next day on April 26, which labeled the movement as a "planned conspiracy" and "turmoil."

Days of 1989

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