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In 1989, two defining moments in modern history occurred. Both involved democratic protests for greater freedom, but they turned out very differently.
The first was the peaceful fall of the Berlin Wall, which started a chain reaction that led to the breakup of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.
Second - Suppression - Tiananmen - Square - Protests
The second was the brutal suppression of the Tiananmen Square protests.
The Tiananmen Square protests continue to capture the imagination of freedom-loving people everywhere because of what the protests stood for and how the Chinese government responded to them, then and now.
Protests - Freedom - Democracy
Fundamentally, the protests stood for freedom and democracy.
For nearly two months, protesters pushed for democratic reforms to the Chinese political system. They sought to curb corruption in the Communist Party, expand freedom of speech and press, and have their basic human rights respected. And they took inspiration from the most potent symbols of American democracy.
Instance - Students - Central - Art - Institute
For instance, students from the Central Art Institute constructed a 33-foot statue of the Goddess of Democracy. The Goddess, which resembled the Statue of Liberty, symbolized “a consciousness of democracy” that had been “awakened among the Chinese people,” according to the students. “The people’s Goddess stands tall,” they proclaimed. “The new era has begun!”
Likewise, students read translations of the Declaration of Independence to the crowd. This was the first time that many Chinese had heard Jefferson’s famous words: “We hold these truths to be...
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