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Events have been held around the world to mark the 23 anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre on June 4th, 1989. At Times Square here in New York dozens of peopled turned out to keep the memories of those who perished alive.
A reenactment of that tragic day 23 years ago. Chinese activists gather in Times Square New York. They're here to mark the anniversary of the bloody crackdown on Tiananmen Square protestors on June 4th 1989.
On Sunday, artist Chen Weiming created this tank mode—a gesture he hopes will keep the memories of students who perished on that day alive.
[Chen Weiming, Artist]:
"History has continued for 23 years year. Those young Chinese scholars who went to Tiananmen for China's freedom and democracy -- their souls are still not resting in peace. This is something I've held on to in my heart. I've wanted to re-enact this history in a suitable location, so people can remember what happened."
On this day in 1989, the Chinese regime dispatched the military to brutally end weeks of demonstrations for democracy and freedom by Chinese students. Up to thousands were estimated to have died in the crackdown. Even so, the Communist Party maintains there were no fatalities as tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square, and soldiers cornered citizens in side streets.
Today, the topic is still taboo in China. For Chinese citizens, overseas memorials like today's offer a gateway into history.
[Yu Yang, College Student]:
"Since I was in China I've been interested in things like this. Now that I'm in the States, especially coming to New York for the summer, I feel I have more opportunities to find out things for myself, I feel quite lucky for this."
23 years on calls for uman rights and democracy in China continue. Luckily for these activists, their calls do not come at a risk to their lives.