Photo Essay: 25th Anniversary of the Brutal Crackdown in Tiananmen Square

The protest swelled to hundreds of thousands. Students gathered around a a 10-metre replica of the Statue of Liberty (C), called the Goddess of Democracy. Catherine Henriette/AFP/Getty

In mid-April, 1989, students gathered in China's historic Tiananmen square in a hunger protest for democracy. The protests would grow, gather support from their countryman, and shake the Communist country to its core. And they would end in bloodshed, as the Chinese army used live ammunition and tanks to clear the square.

"The tank man" became an international symbol of the protests for Democracy in Tiananmen Square in 1989. The man, holding his groceries, stopped a column of tanks. He was arrested and has never been fully accounted for, or named. Arthur Tsang/Reuters
Students started a mass rally in Tiananmen Square, demanding democracy. The protests spread. Here a worker shouts pro-democracy slogans in support of the student hunger strikers. Catherine Henriette/AFP/Getty
Burned and destroyed armored personnel carriers, Fuxing Road, Beijing, China June 1989. Alon Reininger/Contact Press Images
Crowds gather near Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China, May 1989. Alon Reininger/Contact Press Images
A blood-covered protester holds a Chinese soldier's helmet following violent clashes with military forces during the 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing's Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989. Shunsuke Akatsuka/Reuters
Tanks deploy in eastern Beijing, China, June 5, 1989. Liu Heung Shing/AP
The protests began on in mid-April and by early June the situation with the government was increasingly tense. On the night of June 3, 1989, the government began to clear the square and fired on the protesters. Catherine Henriette/AFP/Getty
Students and citizens responded to the government violence with rocks and molotov cocktails. Here a student tries to stop the advance of a burning armored personnel carrier on June 4, 1989. Jeff Widener/AP
The official death toll was listed at 200-300, but Amnesty International puts the real death toll at close to 1,000. AP
Today Tiananmen Square is a symbol of China's vast security apparatus. The country has blocked access to articles and images from the 1989 protests and the brutal crackdown, especially of the famous "tank man." Petar Kujundzic/Reuters
Photo Essay: 25th Anniversary of the Brutal Crackdown in Tiananmen Square | World