Sunday, May 24, 2009

This Day in 1989: May 24, Headquarters for Defending Tiananmen is in Charge

The newly established Headquarters for Defending Tiananmen Square made its first public appearance on May 24, 1989. In an elaborated ceremony, Wang Dan read a prepared statement grandiosely titled The Final Decisive Struggle between the Brightness and Darkness (光明与黑暗的最后决斗). The statement declared that the students had nowhere to retreat by will persist with their occupation of Tiananmen Square until the "Li Peng regime" was toppled.

Chai Ling, once again the Commander-in-Chief, led the rest of the officers and the crowd with a solemn oath:

I swear: I will protect the republic and Tiananmen Square with my young life. Heads can roll, blood can flow, but the People's Square can never be lost! We are willing to fight until the last person.
Officers designated for various tasks sprang into action to organize the occupation. They consolidated media operations, started to publish their own daily newspapers, launched a clean-up effort, and reorganized the student marshals. It was the beginning of what would later become half-jokingly referred as the "People's Republic of Tiananmen Square."

Lost in the shuffle was Wang Chaohua and her Beijing Students Autonomous Federation. They had lost their chance of returning to the Square and any leadership role.

Days of 1989

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