It's the Spring of 1989 in Beijing, China, and student activists are surrounding Tiananmen Square, peacefully protesting and advocating for government accountability, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and the restoration of workers' control over industry. They are also mourning the death of Communist Party general secretary Hu Yaobang, a liberal reformer. Hu opposed inflation and the corruption of the party elite. Roughly around a million people assembled around the Gate of Heavenly Peace, and even regular civilians joined the demonstrations.
In the wee hours of June 4th, all hell broke loose. The protests were abruptly and forcefully ended by the Chinese government, who ordered the military to enforce martial law in the country's capital. The painful-to-watch killings and gruesome murders that occurred on June 4th will forever be known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre, where soldiers with AK-47 automatic rifles opened fire on unarmed university student protesters. Chinese troops shot directly at huge crowds, instantly executing any one in sight. Armored personnel carriers with machine guns came in by the hundreds. This event left a wide number of innocent people dead and thousands horribly injured. Today is the 25th anniversary of this crime.
After a quarter century, the Chinese government still has yet to admit this ever happened. Any one born after 1989 in China has never even read about it. Students do not learn about it in their history books. Newspapers do not promote the incident. Parents do not tell their children about it. Chinese leadership even blocked the Internet from "poisoning" the young minds' of Chinese children. You can't type in "Tiananmen", "Tank Man", or even "June 4th," so there is no way possible to learn about the incident if you are inside China.
However, even with all the evidence of the massacre being destroyed and with no one really looking into it, many still assemble together every June 4th, the most sensitive day of the year, to commemorate the fallen heroes of the crackdown. The Chinese government tries to prevent this, but there are some groups who are able to achieve their courageous endeavor. For example, one activist group, using the website backtotiananmen.com, is calling for people to flock to the square on Wednesday; although they can't hold banners or chant slogans without risking immediate detention, they plan to sing "Do You Hear the People Sing?" from Les Miserables — appropriately fitting the "rise against tyranny" message.
Twenty-five years later, the people of China will always honor the fight against corruption — and they will always honor Tiananmen Square.