Tiananmen Square, Then and Now

Twenty-three years ago today, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) violently cleared Beijing's Tiananmen Square of protesters, ending a six-week demonstration that had called for democracy and widespread political reform. The protests began in April of 1989, gaining support as initial government reactions included concessions. Martial law was declared on May 20, troops were mobilized, and from the night of June 3 through the early morning of June 4, the PLA pushed into Tiananmen Square, crushing some protesters and firing on many others. The exact number killed may never be known, but estimates range from several hundred to several thousand. Today, China's censors are blocking Internet access to the terms "six four," "23," "candle," and "never forget," broadening extensive efforts to silence talk about the 23rd anniversary of China's bloody June 4 crackdown. Here is that story, in images and words, Please share it widely.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.
Jump to Comments

Most Recent

  • Dmitry Lovetsky/AP

    A Year of War Completely Destroyed the Donetsk Airport

    In Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, the Sergey Prokofiev International Airport has been reduced from a modern transportation hub to piles of scorched rubble in less than a year of warfare.

  • Wojciech Kruczynski, Poland, Shortlist, Panoramic, Open, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

    The 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

    The Sony World Photography Awards, an annual competition hosted by the World Photography Organisation, just announced its shortlist of winners. This year's contest attracted 173,444 entries from 171 countries.

  • Natacha Pisarenko/AP

    Investigating the Mysteries of Antarctica

    Every year, thousands of scientists come to Antarctica for research. For a dozen days in January, in the middle of the chilly Antarctic summer, the Associated Press, including photographer Natacha Pisarenko, followed scientists from different fields on the frozen continent.

  • Vadim Ghirda/AP

    Watching a Shaky Cease-Fire in Ukraine

    Earlier this month, a cease-fire agreement was signed in Minsk, Belarus, after long talks between leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and France. Heavy fighting ensued right before the deadline, and sporadic violence continues even now, more than a week later.

Join the Discussion