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Freedom Collection

Interviews with Xiqiu "Bob" Fu

Interviewed December 10, 2023

Before the military crackdown, I organized our students from our university, went to the Tiananmen Square. And we held very deep hope and a good expectation that something good might happen.

And at least during the demonstration in the Beijing street, we saw really the citizen spirit for goodness and civil participation were so active. And I saw, even without police or traffic controller, the Chinese citizens and the Beijing residents, they themselves volunteered to direct the traffic. And even the thieves, actually, organized a volunteer boycott for stealing. And they declared, and people when they had a crash on the bicycles, and in the past, they usually will have a big argument and even curse each other. And during that time, people just, you know, rose up and said politely, “It doesn’t matter.” And they just went ahead.

So there was a really a very unprecedented period of freedom of press and freedom of movement and freedom of speech. And people just stayed in the Tiananmen Square, and almost everywhere during that time were not afraid to speak up. You know, some spoke up even for the Communist Party. Some were against the Communist Party. Some criticizing the government, some for the government, some, you know, were even anarchist. So anybody’s opinion was fully respected.

And I left the Tiananmen Square three days before the massacre happened partially because my then girlfriend, now my wife, was very, very sick, actually hospitalized. And so I didn’t really witness the massacre.

But I already – during that time, close to the massacre, the atmosphere was very tense. Every night the loudspeaker in the Tiananmen Square called for people to block tanks from different corners of the street. And we already saw the troops were massed nearby the People’s Great Hall. So there – something going to happen, but none of us, none of us in the student leadership had expected that a military crackdown like the early morning of June 4, 1989, would happen that way.

After I went back to our university, there was a special investigation team formed already by the public security officers and the school officers. And I was not formally arrested. But sort of they have a special interrogation team just for me. And I was forced to cancel all the classes.

So every day has to stay in one location to make confessions. And at one time has to surrender to the police and write down what you have done, every detail during that time. So it was a very tough time. And I was honestly, really thinking I might be in jail for a long time. But, yeah, I was just treated like a criminal. And you have to — even the grammar mistake — you have to fingerprint, and it was a difficult time.