It is early June, and the minds of many Chinese again return to the tragic political upheaval of 1989. Over the next few days, we will translate a number of messages that tries to capture our conflicted feelings towards that violent summer.
This message also comes to us from MITBBS; the translation is below.
Of course, in the face of all those who died… whether students, city people, or People’s Liberation Army soldiers… I don’t dare claim to be superior.
I was always participating in the marches and protests, but I never lost my ability for independent thought. Although, I was still too young, and wasn’t very clear what I should’ve been considering… regardless I was there at the critical juncture. On the night of June 3rd, with the help of others I rescued two soldiers, and helped bring them to a safe spot.
It was on Chang’an street, near Liubukou. The soldiers came out of an armored personnel carrier, and were immediately surrounded by the enraged masses. Some took the opportunity to start hitting them; bricks and boards were being used, and some soldiers began to bleed from head injuries. In the beginning, I even took some photos.
But I realized something wasn’t right here. I put away my camera, and rushed into the crowd closest to me, loudly calling “don’t hit them!”. They saw I was a student, and listened to me. A few of them helped me convince the others, and finally emotions slowly calmed down. It was only at this point that I realized these two PLA soldiers were about my age; their clothes had already been torn into tatters, although at least they weren’t bleeding.
I asked the people around me: who’s familiar with this area? Any safe areas we can take them to?
One of the cityfolk said, on XX street there’s an unmarked door, should be an office for the Central Government Security Guard. I said, great, please lead the way, we’re going to protect these two soldiers and bring them over there.
We finally found the place, and I knocked on the door, saying we had brought two soldiers over. Finally, someone answered on the inside, and two more soldiers flipped over the main door and verified the identifies of the two soldiers we had brought. They helped push these two soldiers over the front door.
We got out of there as quickly as we can, haha.
I finally went home on June 9th, along with many of my pictures and negatives. Nothing special, I just didn’t want to lose them.
Finally, school started again. Every class, every student had to frankly describe their actions and speech. I just wanted to avoid trouble, so didn’t say anything. But someone spilt the news that I had been taking pictures, and I was nervous as hell. I quickly shared the story about rescuing these two soldiers, and hoped that’d be enough to get me through.
But the school and department really paid attention to this. Each side sent someone as well, and along with the youth secretary from my class, the four of us went on that street in search of that work unit, in order to verify my story.
But once we got to the street, that place wasn’t at all easy to find! All I remembered was a big metal door on the east side of the road. We searched from south to north, and couldn’t find anything. We then went from north to south, and still didn’t find anything. I was about to give up home, thinking to myself… I can’t solve the picture problem, and I can’t verify this story, I’m toast!
Finally, we tried one more time from south to north. Finally, I saw a metal door that looked familiar! They knocked on the door, and finally a head poked out asking what we wanted. The school representative said, we’re from xx university, and we’re investigating whether a student protected two PLA soldiers and brought them here.
Their head came out and warmly shook the school rep’s hands, and excitedly said: “definitely, yes, yes!” When I heard that, I almost fainted, haha. They invited us in, and I really don’t remember much after that. No one asked me about the pictures after that.
This is the first time I’ve discussed this in public, haha.