Eye Witness On The Ground: Graham Earnshaw
Here's Journalist Graham Earnshaw's eye witness account of what happened that evening:
By somewhere around 2am, things on were Square were getting pretty desperate. Beijing residents and most of the students had filtered away. The tent city was largely empty. Those remaining on the square had gravitated towards one of two points -- the north of the square where the confrontation with the military was in progress, and the Monument, the heart of the insurrection.
I stayed. I moved at some point over to the kerb on the side of the Square, under the trees. The students remaining had grouped themselves around the Monument. Elizabeth left and went back to the Peking Hotel to get word of what was happening on the Square through to Reuters office and the world -- the battery on our pioneering mobile phone had basically given. So I sat alone on the side of the Square, watching the sky slowly betray the first hints of light
[Note: Reuter journalist Elisabeth Pisani later reported shooting on TAM grounds, however according Earnshaw Pisani had left the square hours before.]
It gradually became light, a mid-summer dawn, cloudless but gray nonetheless. The tattered tent city stretched out over the expanse of square over on my right. The mobile phone battery had died. And then everything happened at once. I don't remember seeing the students leave the monument, although they did -- filing off to the south as a result of an agreement with the PLA commanders while the tanks and troops entered the square from the north. But I remember clearly watching the tanks and armored cars move in orderly columns down the square, riding over the tents and the debris. It was later said by some that they bulldozed through sleeping students, but I don't believe it. No one could still have been asleep in those tents after that night.