Tank Man, Twenty Years Later
It's the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing, when university students demonstrated against China's political corruption and authoritarianism. The Chinese military cracked down with force. Photographs of the "Tank Man," a lone guy with shopping bags who stood in the way of an advancing line of tanks, became the symbol of the protests for the rest of the world (it's largely unfamiliar to Chinese, because it's been censored).[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-nXT8lSnPQThe New York Times looks back at the story of the Tank Man image. And this Frontline documentary explores what might have happened to the man himself. In 1990, Jiang Zemin was asked about Tank Man's fate. His answer: "I think never killed." We can guess he wasn't given a medal.And for less well-known, but equally interesting, Tiananmen Square iconography, check out the story of the "Goddess of Democracy" a papier-mâché sculpture made by Tiananmen demonstrators (and inspired, probably, by the Statue of Liberty) that has been replicated numerous times in more permanent incarnations.