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HKFP Lens: ‘The students will prevail’ – Rare shots of Tiananmen Square, before and after the 1989 massacre

The Tiananmen massacre occurred on June 4, 1989 ending months of student-led demonstrations in China. Hundreds, perhaps over a thousand, people died as the military suppressed protesters in Beijing.
HRIC Tiananmen Square 1989

Commemorating Hu Yaobang. Photo: HRIC archive, courtesy of Gail Butler, Libby Schmalz.

HKFP has obtained rare images from Human Rights in China (HRIC)‘s archive, before and after the crackdown, courtesy of Gail Butler and Libby Schmalz.
HRIC Tiananmen Square 1989

Commemorating Hu Yaobang. Photo: HRIC archive, courtesy of Gail Butler, Libby Schmalz.

The collection is part of HRIC’s “Unforgotten” project, dedicated to those killed when Chinese troops acted upon the orders of the Chinese Communist Party and shot at crowds.
HRIC Tiananmen Square 1989

Banner: ‘Medical school faculty salutes patriotic students,’ May 17, 1989. Photo: HRIC archive, courtesy of Gail Butler, Libby Schmalz.

In a statement, HRIC said the project aims to tell the stories of those who have fallen and generate international support for the Tiananmen Mothers in their three demands from the central government: “the truth of what happened, accountability for the killing of unarmed civilians, and compensation to survivors and families of those killed.”
HRIC Tiananmen Square 1989

People reading protest poetry. Photo: HRIC archive, courtesy of Gail Butler, Libby Schmalz.

See the profiles of some of those killed in the crackdown on HRIC’s website.
HRIC Tiananmen Square 1989

High school students marching, May 17, 1989. Photo: HRIC archive, courtesy of Gail Butler, Libby Schmalz.

HRIC Tiananmen Square 1989

Banner in the foreground: ‘People in charge of the country.’ Photo: HRIC archive, courtesy of Gail Butler, Libby Schmalz.

HRIC Tiananmen Square 1989

Banner in the foreground: ‘If the old don’t step down, the young cannot step up; Deng Xiaoping should lead the way.’ Photo: HRIC archive, courtesy of Gail Butler, Libby Schmalz.

HRIC Tiananmen Square 1989

Top banner on the column is a petition from the faculty and students of the Central CPC School . Photo: HRIC archive, courtesy of Gail Butler, Libby Schmalz.

HRIC Tiananmen Square 1989

Citizens deliver water to students. Photo: HRIC archive, courtesy of Gail Butler, Libby Schmalz.

HRIC Tiananmen Square 1989

Construction of the Goddess of Democracy statue in Tiananmen Square. Photo: HRIC archive, courtesy of Gail Butler, Libby Schmalz.

HRIC Tiananmen Square 1989

Students on hunger strike. Photo: HRIC archive, courtesy of Gail Butler, Libby Schmalz.

HRIC Tiananmen Square 1989

Banner on right: ‘For the sake of the Party, Deng Xiaoping: please step down.’ Photo: HRIC archive, courtesy of Gail Butler, Libby Schmalz.

HRIC Tiananmen Square 1989

Banner: ‘Our whole family supports the students, loves the students.’ Photo: HRIC archive, courtesy of Gail Butler, Libby Schmalz.

HRIC Tiananmen Square 1989

Banner on the bus: ‘Oppose news blackout.’ Photo: HRIC archive, courtesy of Gail Butler, Libby Schmalz.

HRIC Tiananmen Square 1989

Troops entering Beijing. Photo: HRIC archive, courtesy of Gail Butler, Libby Schmalz.

HRIC Tiananmen Square 1989

People and the People’s Army. Photo: HRIC archive, courtesy of Gail Butler, Libby Schmalz.

HRIC Tiananmen Square 1989

Policeman holding sign: ‘The students will prevail.’ Photo: HRIC archive, courtesy of Gail Butler, Libby Schmalz.

HRIC Tiananmen Square 1989

Student demonstrators from different universities in Tiananmen Square. Photo: HRIC archive, courtesy of Gail Butler, Libby Schmalz.

HRIC Tiananmen Square 1989

Civilians using a bus to stop troops’ advance. Photo: HRIC archive, courtesy of Gail Butler, Libby Schmalz.

HRIC Tiananmen Square 1989

A standoff between citizens and troops. Photo: HRIC archive, courtesy of Gail Butler, Libby Schmalz.

HRIC Tiananmen Square 1989

A standoff between citizens and troops. Photo: HRIC archive, courtesy of Gail Butler, Libby Schmalz.

HRIC Tiananmen Square 1989

A standoff between citizens and troops. Photo: HRIC archive, courtesy of Gail Butler, Libby Schmalz.

HRIC Tiananmen Square 1989

After the crackdown. Photo: HRIC archive, courtesy of Gail Butler, Libby Schmalz.

HRIC Tiananmen Square 1989

After the crackdown. Photo: HRIC archive, courtesy of Gail Butler, Libby Schmalz.

HRIC Tiananmen Square 1989

After the crackdown. Photo: HRIC archive, courtesy of Gail Butler, Libby Schmalz.

Visit HRIC’s site, Facebook and Twitter for more information.

HKFP Lens: 'The students will prevail' - Rare shots of Tiananmen Square, before and after the 1989 massacre