In this talk from a recent London-wide meeting of the Marxist Student Federation, Daniel Morley discusses the Tiananmen student protests that shook the regime in China 30 years ago.
The Tiananmen square protests were the largest student movement in history, with over 1 million involved at the height of the demonstrations.
But, as Daniel explains, the protests were not confined just to students. Workers across Beijing also came out in support of the movement, and the initial wave of soldiers sent in to repress the protestors ended up sympathising with them.
In the end, however, the opportunity was lost for the protests to extend and develop into a broader movement of workers and students, despite demands for a general strike being raised.
As a result, the movement ebbed. Facing more intense repressive measures, the demonstrators left in the infamous Beijing central square were forced to accept defeat.
Daniel outlines the history leading up to the Tiananmen movement, showing how ultimately this was a rebellion against the liberal economic reforms being carried out by the bureaucracy, which were leading to rising inequality and inflation.
Today, with the Chinese ruling class increasing the exploitation and repression of workers and youth in China, the scene is set for a new explosive mass movement.