Category Archives: Tankman

20 years ago-Tanks and Tiananmen Square

This picture is recognizable by most everyone. It is a student facing off with a shitload of Chinese tanks. It is simply known as ‘Tankman’. It was taken by Jeff Widener.

I remember Tiananmen Sq and the bloody crackdown by the Chinese government. I watched it on CNN all day and night. I got online and tried to find live shots of what was going on.

June 3rd and 4th was the massacre. There is a good pbs timeline and a documentary entitled Tank Man on the entire protest which started in April and ended June 5th, which was the day the Tankman photo was captured by Jeff Widener. There is also another documentary on the subject which you can rent or buy entitled The Gate of Heavenly Peace. A section regarding the massacre can be watched here.

There has never been an accounting of how many protesters and bystanders were killed that night.