People sitting in front of Tiananmen Square in protest. Source: Africa China Press Centre


Many weeks passed since Hu Yaobang’s death and protests continued. However, by May of 1989, 100,000 people marching on Tiananmen Square now became more than 1,000,000 people. The demonstrations were mainly led by students from the prestigious Beijing University. Not only did students march the streets, but people like teachers and doctors marched with them, wanting an end to the repression of speech and the corrupted government.  

CNN broadcast during the Tiananmen Square Protests in 1989. Source: CNN 

Chinese students walk together in protest. Source: Hong Kong Free Press

Banners and posters were made to express the people’s anger and concern regarding their lives in China. Crowding in Tiananmen Square, people camped there from day to night. Sympathizers even came to show their support towards the students and others by bringing them food, water, and banners expressing their support. While the Chinese Communist Party tolerated these protests at first, they were then faced with a dilemma concerning the arrival of the leader of the U.S.S.R.  

Poster made to fight for freedom of press in China. Source: Harvard Magazine


Erica Huynh