Tiananmen Slideshows — Part Two: Hunger Strike

In May 1989, students went on hunger strike to urge the government toward a dialogue. During this time, Muriel Southerland photographed the hunger-striking students and their supporters

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May 16 - The original hunger strikers.


May 16 - The hunger strikers refuse medical aid while the Red Cross tosses blocks of ice near their tent to cool them down.


May 16 - Thousands march to Tiananmen Square to show support for the hunger strikers. The crowds and the hunger strike forced visiting Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to enter the Great Hall of the People from the back.


May 19 - The tent where the hunger strikers lie becomes a makeshift hospital.


May 19 - Two hunger strikers lying with intravenous drips.


May 19 - Ambulance parked at Tiananmen Square to take hunger strikers to the hospital. Their sirens could be heard every five minutes as more and more students fainted.


May 19 - Volunteer nurses tend to the hunger strikers, saying it was their duty to help.


May 19 - A hunger striker is rushed to a waiting ambulance by stretcher.


May 19 - Crowds gather at Tiananmen to give their support and protect the hunger strikers from troops rumored to be en route to the square.


May 19 - Protesters practice creating human shields by locking arms to protect the hunger strikers. An eyewitness says the night was eerily quiet—the only sounds of fluttering flags, occasional sirens, and the shuffling of the feet of hundreds of people locking arms and moving in formation.


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