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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Remembering Tiananmen


While the eyes of the world were on Cairo today, CNN has also been looking back at a watershed event that occurred 20 years ago: a pro-democracy demonstration by hundreds of thousands of students in Tiananmen Square in the heart of Beijing. It was a protest that grew slowly and impossibly over the span of a few weeks, until a brutal and bloody crackdown wiped it out. The iconic image above was taken on June 5th, as the tanks rolled in and one solitary man stared them down. It was an image that many of us will never forget, and that many in China have never been allowed to see.

Today Kyra Phillips spoke with Alec Miran, a CNN producer who was there in the weeks leading up to that showdown. Old footage shows his fight to keep CNN on the air as Chinese officials tried to shut them down on May 20th, as the protests were still building:

video

On International's BackStory yesterday, Michael Holmes introduced coverage of the anniversary and a report by Emily Chang, who attempted to film a conversation with Beijing Bureau Chief Jaime Florcruz in the Square about what happened in 1989. They were stopped, but with smiles and offers of help rather than tanks and bullets. Twenty years has brought progress; perhaps the next twenty will bring more:

video

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Cal Perry had one of the earliest reactions to the President's speech from the American University in Beirut:

video

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On Tuesday, Dan Rivers filed an incredible report from Peshawar on the Taliban's intimidation of all Western-influenced businesses in the region. It is a look at a society crumbling in the face of brutality, and it promises to get much worse:

video


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