Tank Man (AKA The Unknown Rebel) was the anonymous hero who was seen during the protests at Beijing's Tiananmen Square on June 5, 1989, stopping Chinese T59 tanks as they rolled down Chang'an Avenue.
No one knows what happened to Tank Man. Many think he was dragged off by the Chinese secret police and executed along with so many others. This common man's actions, however, emboldened millions to stand against tyranny.
Illustration by Dan McCall for the 33rd anniversary of the incident.
I've been imagining different views like this one from the eye of onlookers on Chang'an Avenue watching the T59s roll in. The event was surreal from our televised perspective. It must have been incomprehensible from the street.
I've wondered why the men came to the Unknown Rebel to whisk him away at the time they did after he climbed down from the tank. Was it because they were plainclothed agents? Or were they simply Bejing citizens dumbfounded by his act of bravery and indignation? I like to think it was the latter.
From this perspective, I thought I would invite you to think about it as well. What would you do? How would you react?
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