… Despite the calamity which took place in China that day, the student martyrs had given the world a glimmer of hope. While the nonviolent movement that had emerged that spring in Beijing and in towns and cities throughout China was brutally crushed, other largely nonviolent movements would emerge elsewhere in the coming years that would bring down scores of autocratic regimes, ranging from monarchies to Communist dictatorships to right-wing military juntas.
By the end of that year, such unarmed insurrections would usher in democratic governance in Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Chile, and Kenya. During the 1990s, nonviolent movements brought down dictatorships in Mongolia, Mali, Thailand, Madagascar, Indonesia, Nigeria, and elsewhere. This decade has seen strategic nonviolent action play the pivotal role in overcoming corrupt and autocratic rule in such countries as Serbia, Nepal, Georgia, Ukraine and the Maldives.
For more on this story, visit: Stephen Zunes: Remembering Tiananmen Square.