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A Scholar's Recount of the Tiananmen Incident (4)

1 June 2009

4, On the Eve of and the day of June 4th

The weather on June 3, 1989 was pretty hot and dry. In the newspapers, on the radio and television broadcasts, there were warnings from the authority, urging people to leave the Tiananmen Square without delay, and informing the public that the military troops had already on their way to enforce the martial law in the premises. That day the access to the underground trains was blocked, and it was rumoured that the trains were used to transfer the troops from the outskirts to the CBD. All the office directors in the research institutes took the responsibilities of informing staff to stay away from the square, and asking the staff to persuade their relatives and friends not to go to the area where curfew was imposed.

In the evening, shortly after dinner and before the sky grew fully dark, the weather cooled down with gentle breezes in the air. But no one felt at ease. In the residential block where my family lived, there were people working at Research Institutes of Mathematics, of Sensitisation, of Chemistry, of Physics, of Zoology, of Computing, of Software, of Automation, and at Academy's Computer Centre and Academy's high tech company, as well as the teachers from the nearby universities and from Zhongguancun Primary School ... all of us walked out of our home and headed south towards the direction of the People's University.

When we reached the front entrance of the University, the time was about 9pm. I was surprised to see such a big crowd there: people were everywhere, inside the gate, outside the gate. And before the gate the mass congregated in the streets extended to 200 to 300 metres in both ways. Several loudspeakers at the entrance uttered the conflicting messages: one from Chinese radio station was there warning people to stay away from the square; and another from the Voice of America promoting open confrontation with the Chinese government, and some students also spoke through the loudspeakers urging people to go to the square.

People listened to the broadcasts in hush, and sensed that something big might soon to happen. Through loudspeaker, a young man yelled at the crowd, "We student demonstration is supported by the governments all over the world," and reported what the governments of the United States, of Australia, of France had said, and how many overseas Chinese organizations had offered their financial support to the movement ...

Then we saw a truck came from the direction of Zhongguancun in a high speed running towards the CBD in the south. There were a few students on the truck, all had white band on the forehead with blood red words on the band reading "Die for Democracy". When the vehicle passed the crowd, it slowed down and a student standing at the door cried out: "It's time to fight for democracy, brothers and sisters, come on board, let us shed our blood ...."

Initially the whole crowd was silent, just watching the students on the truck. Then somebody shouted at the students, "Young men, don't die for nothing, the democracy won't come this way!" And many other voices from the crowd echoed the message and urged the students, "Don't go there!" "Don't go!" But the truck speeded up and charged towards the direction of the Tiananmen Square.

The night deepened, but the two loudspeakers were still broadcasting conflicting messages. The crowd gradually dispersed, and returned home in Zhongguancun.

In the early morning, we all woke up in a sudden by the rowdy radio broadcast in the streets, which was from the Voice of America. The vociferous propaganda of the United States was soon followed by the sound of heavy vehicles, repeatedly driving from afar then rolling away; and the strong beams reflected on walls, now light, now dark. The message from the Voice of America in a raw and pretentious mandarin kept pronouncing: "The government of the United States has strongly condemned the military crackdown on a pro-democracy student movement ..." I thought to myself by then: if not because of you anti-China Americans, the situation in China could be much better.


一九八九年的六月三日北京的天气很闷热, 从报纸, 电台和电视里, 不断地传来党中央的声音, 警告大家要立刻离开天安门广场, 军队已开赴现场, 当天所有的地下铁都关闭了, 人们说解放军正在利用地下铁进驻天安门. 研究所的室主任们都传达了相同的精神, 要大家不要去天安门, 并劝说周围的亲戚和朋友们.

那天的晚上, 吃过晚饭后, 天还没完全黑, 已不再是那么闷热了, 徐徐的晚风吹来使人感到一种舒适的凉意, 但每个人的心情却并不那么轻松. 我们居住的楼里有数学所的, 感光所的, 化学所的, 物理所的, 动 物所的, 计算所的, 软件所的,自动化所的, 计算中心的, 科学院公司的, 附近大学的老师, 中关村小学的老师… 大家在家里呆不住, 不约而同地散步向着中国人民大学的方向.

从中关村漫步来到人大的校门口时, 大约是晚上9点了, 真没想到已聚集了那么多的人, 学校门里门外, 大街上的两旁伸延的两三百米内都站满了人, 人大的门前, 挂着几个大喇叭, 在一边的大喇叭里播放着电台的广播要北京市民立刻离开天安门广场的最后通告, 另一边的大喇叭里播放着美国之音和几个学生在鼓动大家前往天安门什么的.

人们听着, 议论着, 每人都在预料着什么将要发生. 从大喇叭里, 一个学生在声嘶力竭地喊着: ”我们学生的民主运动已得到全世界各国政府的支持” 接着从大喇叭里传出美国的新闻报道说了什么什么, 澳大利亚政府说了什么什么, 法国政府说了什么什么, 学生民主运动如何得到了海外爱国团体的资金上的资助什么什么的 …

一会儿, 从中关村的方向飞驶而来一辆卡车, 上面只坐着一两个人, 有一个人站在车门边, 他们的头部都缠上白色的绷带, 上面用红血色写着为民主而死, 手中那着小旗子, 当这辆卡车驶到人大门口时, 车速减慢, 那个站在车门的年轻学生向人群大喊着: ”为民主而斗争的时刻来了, 兄弟姐妹们上车吧, 用我们的鲜血 …”

人们站在原地, 静静地望着那辆车, 没有一个人动弹, 从人群中不知是谁突然大声喊到”年轻人, 别不要命了, 民主不是这样能换来的!", 接着有不少的人们附和着喊到"不要去!"…"不要去!". 可那辆卡车还是一个加速向城里急速驶去…

深夜了, 那人大门前的两个大喇叭还没有停止播放, 人们渐渐散去了, 大多数的人们在往中关村的方向散去了, 消失了在夜幕中.

已经是深夜了, 中关村的居民楼区已是很安静了,家家都已安睡了吧, 也许这只是表面上的平静. 好象是已过凌晨了, 听到了外面传来了收音机的播放声, 那是美国之音电台的中文广播, 随着大声的喧哗声, 听到了车辆的马达声, 由远而近, 由近而远…由远而近, 雪白的车灯一会儿反射在屋里的墙壁上一会消失, 让人无法入睡 … 我听着那令人讨厌软软绵绵的普通话 ”美国政府谴责中国政府,用军队镇压学生运动 … ”不时地响在中关村的一条条街上, 我当时想: 要不是你们这些反华分子在捣乱, 事情会发展得好些呢.

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