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 ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Clodagh Kilcoyne / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: The Sydney Skinny, a Glacial Arch, Pelicans at Play

    Skijoring in Montana, a Russian presidential candidate in Moscow, a walkout against gun violence across the U.S., the stark and lonely route of a German volunteer mailman, and more.

  • Olivier Morin / AFP / Getty

    Photos: Surfing Norway in Sub-Zero Temperatures

    AFP photographer Olivier Morin recently spent time with surfers above the Arctic Circle on the beaches of Norway’s Lofoten Islands.

  • Andrew Kelly / Reuters

    The Student Walkout Against Gun Violence, in Photos

    Across the United States today, students participated in walkouts to protest gun violence one month after the deadly shooting in a Florida high school.

  • Lee Jin-man / AP

    Photos of the 2018 Winter Paralympics

    Athletes have gathered in Pyeongchang, South Korea, one more time for the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.