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Today in History: the CCP's Official Newspaper Peoples Daily Editorial on 26 April

Following an internal speech made by Deng Xiaoping, the CCP's official newspaper Peoples Daily issues a front-page editorial entitled "We must take a firm stand against turmoil", attempting to rally the public behind the government, and accuses "extremely small segments of opportunists" of plotting civil unrest.The charge of turmoil was a serious one in China. Turmoil was not just troublemaking; turmoil was the destroyer of social stability and unity, a threat to the fabric of Chinese society.Despite ominous warning from Beijing authorities tat the mourning period for Hu had ended and that further demonstrations were illegal and strictly forbidden, the Provisional Students' Federation announced a mass student march in protest of the People's Daily editorial. It decision to carry through with the march was not made lightly: campus were rife with reports that the 38th Army had already taken up positions in and around the city. Under the mounting pressure and awareness that a decision to march could result in bloodshed or even loss of life, cracks in the student unity appeared: leaders at Qinghua declared their withdrawal from the Federation.Fearing violent encounters with the army or police, many students wrote their wills on this night.

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