Tiananmen Slideshows — Part Three: Crackdown

A May 20 declaration of martial law failed to deter protesters, who managed to stop military trucks and speak with troops inside as they headed toward Tiananmen Square. Throughout all of this, Muriel Southerland kept taking pictures. Then, late on June 3, a deadly two-day crackdown began—leaving an untold number of dead and a government blackout on the incident in its wake.

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April 27 – A truckload of unarmed police drive toward Tiananmen Square to set up a police cordon.


April 27 – Protesters and civilians watch as the trucks drive past.


April 27 – The police cordon fails as protestors push past the unarmed police and enter the square


May 16 – In response to the protestors and hunger strikers gathered at Tiananmen, unarmed guards are positioned at the entrance of the Great Hall of the People during Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s visit.


May 20 – Five helicopters circle the city to signify the beginning of martial law.


May 20 – Martial law fails as tens of thousands of people continue to march on the streets after the law has been declared, ignoring government warnings.


May 26 – Protesters block troops from entering the square and try to win over the soldiers to their cause.


June 3 – A truckload of PLA troops drive toward Tiananmen.


June 3 – Thousands converge on a military convey at the intersection of the Second Ring Road and the Avenue of Eternal Peace, successfully blocking the troops from entering the square.


June 3 – Protesters use trucks and buses as barriers to block the military convoy.


June 3 – A truck full of workers, possibly paid by the government and armed with clubs, is discovered. Protesters surround the truck and take the weapons.


June 5 – Tanks and APC’s going on patrol after the army successfully occupies Tiananmen Square.


June 5 – T-59 tanks are positioned to defend the square by controlling access to the Avenue of Eternal Peace near the Second Ring Road – about 4 miles from the Square.


June 5 – The remains of a bus blockade smashed by APC’s and armored vehicles.


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