Beijing Xidan Democracy Wall (June 1979)

The photos in this section have been taken towards the end of June 1979, most of then by the author (Helmut Opletal), some by French sinologist Jacqueline Nivard. There are no texts any more aggressively attacking state and party leaders, some of the most outspoken authors like Wei Jingsheng and Ren Wanding have been arrested a few weeks earlier, but any dazibao still reflect personal grievances.

The main journals sold at the Democracy Wall now are the "April 5th Forum", "Spring of Peking" and the literary and arts publication "Today". The political authors that draw most of the attention at this time are Xu Wenli and Chen Erjin who consider themselves Marxists who would rather reform than abolish the socialist/communist system.

Chen Erjin's lengthy article advocating a socialist two-party system draws many readers and causes heated debates.

Several independent journals ("Spring of Peking", "Seeking Truth") announce new issues to be sold in front of the Democracy Wall.

The fourth edition of the journal "Jintian" (Today) is displayed for everyone at the Wall. It was published on June 20, the photos taken shortly after.

An unknown photographer. Who knows who he is?

Sales announcement for a new issue of "Spring of Peking". The slogan to the left says "Strictly against a two-party system."

The latest issue of one of the journals draws crowds of interested readers.

Announcing a new issue of the magazine "Women" ("We")

Various Big-Character Posters...

A demobilized soldier complaining about his treatment after leaving the army.


"Why can the decisions of the Beijing City Committee Not Be Implemented?"

A case from a military unit in Jiangsu...

"Justice for someone who has suffered 14 years of mental torture"

A person from Sichuan accusing the authorities of physical and pschological methods of abuse.