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I was an exchange student at Fudan University in Shanghai from 1988-90, so I was able to experience the before - during - and after - of the student movement. Although Shanghai did not have the daily massive turnouts that Beijing had leading up to June 4, there were a few days that stick out clearly in my mind.
One was the day that Gorbachev visited Shanghai (May 16th?). There were roughly 2 million protestors on the street that day, and Gorbachev was driven around the outskirts of town to avoid the protests.
Another was June 4-5. I was away from Shanghai with classmates on an Island (Putuoshan), when we heard the news on BBC radio. We caught the next night boat back, and arrived in Shanghai on the morning of the 5th. Public buses were placed in the middle of all major roads throughout the city, so the only way to get around was bicycle, motorcyle, or walking. We walked into the Peace hotel, which was amazingly still selling overseas newspapers. We bought several copies of a Hong Kong Newspaper, and proceeded to walk the 10+ kilometers back to the university. On the way, dozens of locals tried to rip the newspapers away from me, obviously hungry for information. By the time we got back to the university, the students had knocked down light poles to create a makeshift blockade around the school. They were fearful that troops would try to enter the school.
posted 4 years ago
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