The event was called the Massacre even though no one died. Some students-marching peacefully down a boulevard and demanding certain rights not enjoyed in their country for many years-were set upon by police. The students were armed with nothing. The police had clubs, tear gas, and dogs, and in their vanguard was a special squad trained to storm airplanes taken over by terrorists. As they were being surrounded by all these forces, the students knelt and sang, among other things, "We Shall Overcome" in their native language. Then the police attacked.
A monument was later erected on the spot, and even now people leave flowers and lighted candles there daily. It is a bronze sculpture of several hands reaching upward - some open to prove that they hold no weapons, others in the two-finger gesture that conveys a hope for peace. To a passerby unaware of the history of the place, the only explanation is an engraved date: November 17, 1989.
Neumann, Richard K. Jr.
"From an Insurrection,"
Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities:
2, Article 2.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjlh/vol3/iss2/2