Through mass shootings and police brutality we quickly learned that violence isn’t the answer, but through peaceful protest, a statement can be made much bolder than bloodshed. Today marks the 28th year anniversary of China’s “Tank Man” who bravely and successfully hauled a chain of tanks at the north edge of Tiananmen Square, along Chang’an Avenue in 1989. The Chinese government took to tank enforcement to police the Tiananmen protests, but didn’t expect the lesson of peace to be taught.
The still unidentified “hero” stood directly in the middle of the street in the path of Type 59 tanks halting them. In the video, you can see the man adjust himself as the tanks tried to move around him, but he meant business. Tank Man proceeded to climb on top of the tank, but as shots began to fire, it gave him no choice but to step down off the tanks, but he did not leave his stance blocking the long column of tanks.
His act of bravery became famous worldwide and an example for how a peaceful protest and end with positive results and less bloodshed. In April 1998, Time included Tank Man in a feature titled “Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century and in November 2016, Time included Jeff Widener’s infamous photograph of Tank Man in “Time 100: The Most Influential Images of All Time. Tank Man’s whereabouts are currently unknown, but his bravery will be acknowledged forever.