On the ground in Tiananmen Square 30 years after the massacre that crushed democracy protests

Peals of laughter from middle school students in orange hats and navy tracksuits rang out as tourists jostled under the hot sun around Tiananmen Square on Tuesday.

For most – aside from more security checks – it was just another day in the capital city.

But a heavy police presence, armoured vans and buses full of military personnel drawn to the square hinted that this was no ordinary day.

For the few who remember, Tuesday marked the 30th anniversary of the bloody suppression of peaceful pro-democracy protesters in Beijing. After seven weeks of demonstrations, soldiers opened fire on students and workers, killing hundreds – possibly thousands – on June 4, 1989.

Even after three decades, the massacre…

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