YANG Zhenjiang (杨振江)

Male, 21, waiter at Huaiyangchun Restaurant. From: Beijing.

In the early hours of June 4, 1989, Yang was out with several classmates from high school celebrating one of their birthdays. Afterwards, when they passed by Muxidi, Yang was shot in the left leg, and the bullet punctured his artery. He was brought to the Navy General Hospital, but died from massive blood loss. His ashes were first kept at Wan’an Public Cemetery, but when the storage period came to an end, his family was too poor to pay for an extension and brought his ashes back to bury in their hometown.

Yang’s father, Yang Yinshan (杨银山), a retired worker, and his mother, Tian Shuling (田淑玲), were both members of the Tiananmen Mothers before they passed away.

YANG Zhenjiang (杨振江)
杨振江
YANG Zhenjiang
Waiter
Yang Yinshan, Yan Zhenjiang’s father, said in his testimony in 2009:

I was worried that night. It was already 4 or 5 a.m.; why had he not returned? It made me suspicious. He was just a child, and he went out—so much gunfire, so intense, and the sounds of gunshots were so concentrated. . . . Nobody believed they were using real bullets; everyone thought it must be rubber bullets. I went over to Muxidi at around 4 a.m., and I just went back and forth . . . until the afternoon. I went back home and said to the children: “We need to hurry up and find him.” We went to all the hospitals . . . and finally found his body [at Navy General Hospital]. The whole family went there. The doctor said, “Quick! Take the body. If you don’t take it now, you may not be able to get it back.” He was just 21! Really, even now, such a long time later, I feel heartbroken every time I talk about this. . . . This child, honestly, out of the four kids we have, just the eldest and the youngest showed promise. . . . He was the youngest. . . .

I believe that this is absolutely an issue with the state, right? The ordinary citizens were not armed, and they opened fire just like that. . . . I thought at that time: I’ve never been abroad, and I’m not educated. But let’s look at what happens in movies. . . . In other countries, or anywhere, in these incidents, you are never supposed to open fire—why only in China? I never thought the Community Party would kill and murder its own people. Why, even till now, do the country’s leaders still refuse to admit this? Nobody has dared to admit this: Did the people deserve to be killed?

We are just ordinary folks, and they are just kids. You as the government should know how to deal with them. It’s unacceptable for you to say that there was no other way to deal with them [except to kill them]. Who gave the order? How could you do this? How could you kill your people? That was absolutely wrong. Whatever you say, wherever you say it, you cannot justify this. Everyone believes that you can only say that you were unreasonable. If you are trying to justify the things you did, why then, more than a decade later, haven’t you been able to reach any conclusion? You must have a conclusion, at the very least, isn’t that so? What was wrong with the people—were they obstructing the country or obstructing some other people? Why, till now, have you still not said anything official? Are you just going to be done with the whole thing, leaving it unresolved and unanswered? Why is it acceptable for you to just walk away, and eat and drink to your hearts’ content? What about us ordinary people?

Learn more about LIU Chunyong (刘春永)