||Death of Zhou Enlai and the Tiananmen Incident (1976)
The Death of Zhou Enlai
At this moment, a shining star on which the peoples' hope depended on, fell. It was the
death of Zhou Enlai. On January 8, 1976, Zhou Enlai, an important leader of China, the
founder of the People's Liberation Army and an excellent revolutionary and politician,
died. During the CR, he worked for the party and government. Therefore, his death brought
great grief to all the people.
During the funeral for Zhou, the "Gang of Four" prevented the people from taking
part in activities to pay respect to Zhou. Not only did they forbid the spontaneous
activity of the Party, but they also controlled the media not to report the sympathy of
the people. And on January 11, millions of people gave the funeral car of Zhou a deeply
felt send-off, helping each other and shedding tears. But the articles weren't allowed to
be shown to the masses. These dirty tricks enraged a lot of people.
Students and people in Nanjing near Shanghai moved into action first. On 20 and 28 of
March, a lot of students, workers and citizens mourned for Zhou Enlai and demonstrated
against the "Gang of Four". And they put up slogans criticising the "Gang
of Four" everywhere. And at the end of March and beginning of April, a lot of masses
in each cities including Xi'and and Hang Zhou demonstrated to pay respect to their dead
Premier, stopping the interference by the "Gang of Four".
The people in Beijing gathered spontaneously in Tiananmen Square from the end of March.
They showed feelings of sympathy for Zhou Enlai and criticised the "Gang of
Four" harshly by devoting wreathes in front of a cenotaph of the People's Hero,
putting up posters, reading poetry and making speeches. A lot of poems included strong
feelings and political meaning, singing about the inner feelings of the people.
The "Gang of Four" feared this movement, so they tried to interrupt it as much
as possible. On April 2, the "Gang of Four" phoned in the name of the CCP, and
criticised the mass movement in Nanjing. And they demanded that organisations in each area
should be cautious about the expansion of the people. At the same time, they ordered each
organisation to inform the people that they should not go to Tiananmen Square to mourn
Zhou. But once the rage of masses has been enflamed it cannot be suppressed easily.
On April 4, the movement of the people reached its peak. Hundreds of thousands of citizens
coming from Beijing and the other local area gathered in Tiananmen Square, taking no
notice of the prohibition in those days. They were in high spirits, complicated against
the "Gang of Four".
The Tiananmen movement was an expression of all the people's protest demonstrations. And
it was brought about under the Party's leadership including the "Four
Modernisation's". Of course, this movement expressed the rage of the people against
the "Gang of Four", but at the same time it clearly expressed