3/6 - 6/6 : The Massacre
By June 2nd and 3rd, the army has secretly infiltrated into the city and has surrounded the Square and the area around it. In the afternoon of June 3rd, army troops and civilians confronted at places like Liubukou, Xinhuamen and the around the Great Hall of the People. At first the troops used only tear gas, rubber bullets, baton and long sticks to disperse the crowd. About 100 civilians were injured.
Starting from 10 o’clock of June 3rd, hundreds of tanks, armored vehicles and troops converged on central Beijing and Tiananmen Square from all directions. The troops fired on the people indiscriminately and deliberately, while armored vehicles and tanks drove blindly into crowds, crushing, killing and injuring many. Blood was shed all the way from Muxidi, Fuxingmen, Jianguomen and Liubukou to the Square, along the Avenue of Eternal Peace.
The people of Beijing demonstrated immense courage and bravery as they mounted human barricades against the well-armed troops. With their own bodies they attempted to block the armored vehicles, tanks and armed soldiers. In doing so they put their lives in danger, yet they did not turn back. Their devotion and courage command our greatest respect.
By 2 am in the morning of 4th June, troops have surrounded the whole Square. Students and civilians retreated to the area around the Monument to the People’s Heroes. Hou Dejian and some student representatives tried to negotiate with the army to let the students go unharmed, and shortly after achieved a deal. But before they managed to leave, at 4:00am, suddenly all the lights on the Square went out and the "clean up" began. Troops with helmets, camouflages and rifles marched into the Square and surrounded the Monument. With electric batons and rifles they attacked the students, many of whom were injured or killed. At the same time, armored vehicles and tanks rolled into the Square crushing people and tents, where worn out students were sleeping. The Statue of Goddess of Democracy was also destroyed. For the rest of the day, troops continued to fire on civilians gathered in the city, killing and injuring many.
On the next day, 5th June, troops still occupied the Square. The civilians however, still shouted anti-army, anti-govenment slogans on the streets. Some journalists staying in hotels along the Avenue of Eternal Peace managed to capture the scene of a solitary man trying to block the advance of a column of tanks. The image has become one of the most famous symbol of Tiananmen crackdown, yet still no one has a clue of the young man's fate. He become known as the "Tankman".
On June 6th, troops of tanks still surrounded the Square while Beijing citizens and students continued to set up barricades to block them. In the afternoon, spokesman of the State Council, Yuan Mu, held a press conference for local and international media. He said during the incident of “clearing” the Square, 5,000 soldiers were injured, and 2,000 civilians and “rebels” were also injured, 300 “law-breaking criminals” were killed, 23 students were also killed. He also said that no student or civilian were killed on the Square, nor have any armored vehicle or tank crushed anyone to death.
These lies angered everyone watching the press conference. On June 16th, Yuan Mu was interviewed by the US news station ABC, he said the news films shot by ABC depicting troops entering the Square killing civilians and students were created by “advance technology” with the aim to twist the facts.