June 4, 1989: Tiananmen Square massacre

The student-led demonstrations were violently suppressed after the Chinese government declared martial law.
2:41 | 06/01/17

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Transcript for June 4, 1989: Tiananmen Square massacre
The latest from China. But the Chinese Red Cross estimates of between 4500. People have been killed this weekend. As the army moved in to suppress the student demonstrations. Still the army has not gained complete control. Gary Shepard reports on this weekend's bloody action in Beijing. It was the swift and terrible ending to the Beijing spring of 1989. Hundreds of thousands of students and workers and other local Chinese citizens. Who through their long demonstration for democracy. Had been seeking a peaceful dialogue with the leaders of this vast nation. Received instead the harshest of responses to their demands for reform and freedom. Last night an estimated 30000. Chinese army troops were sent into the capital. To crush what the government called a small band of hooligans and gangsters. Counter revolutionaries. The government called them who were attempting to overthrow the Communist regime that has ruled this country for the past forty years. It is difficult not to use the word massacre to describe what happened. The military is moving in armored vehicles smashed through barricades that have been put up by the protesters. An advance relentlessly toward Tiananmen square. Where for the past several weeks students have been staging a sit in demanding the resignation of hardline Premier League pond. And an end to widespread corruption inside the Chinese Government. They fired automatic weapons into crowds of citizens who for the most part. Could fight back with nothing more than rocks and bottles. They fire their weapons even as the mobs were chanting slogans like you are the People's Liberation Army and we are the people. They fired their weapons into groups of demonstrators that sometimes numbered in the tens of thousands. There has been no official announcement of casualties. Student leaders claim they are staggering. And that the government is attempting to cremate the bodies as quickly as possible so the true number of fatalities will never be you know. Some lost their lives when armored personnel carriers and troop trucks simply ran over them. Others were gunned down as they tried to resist the savage show of course. Finally the troops reach their objective and in a last ditch effort demonstrators tossed firebombs onto the tanks and armored personnel carriers. As they rolled into Tiananmen square. But it didn't take long before the Chinese.

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