Historical Events  People
Tiananmen Tank Boy

The tanks ran him over

The tank did not run him over

What did the tank do?

The famous Tank Boy, also known as the Unknown Protester or Unknown Rebel, is the name given to the guy who stood up to the row of tanks advancing down Tiananmen Square in June 1989 just after the Tiananmen Square protests had been suppressed by the Chinese Government. This incident was shown globally at the time on TV, and images of his stance are firmly etched in everyone's memory who saw this at the time.

What is is doubt is what happened afterwards - those experiencing the Mass Memory Discrepancy Effect claim he was run over by one of them, yet others claim it danced from side to side before as he also moved in front of it before giving up and just stopping there.

Videos of either event are not to be found today - this is China, after all - yet those who remember him dying claim it was one of the most disturbing things they ever saw. How could such a memory be false?


It's often called the June Fourth Incident in mainland China, because that's the naming system for major events such as this, i.e. month, day, name such as May Fourth Movement of 1919. Outside China it's referred to as June Fourth Massacre. The movement behind it is known as the '89 Democracy Movement. No exact numbers are available, but it's estimated between several hundred and several thousand were killed, and thousands more wounded. Officially, it's referred to as "political turmoil between the Spring and Summer of 1989".

The photograph of the man standing in front of the tank is world famous, and marked one of the most iconic moments of the 20th century.

The people who remember the tank running the man over say it was only shown live, and it happened so unexpectedly that even the cameraman had to pull away quickly before the feed was cut.