“At three in the morning I feared I might be killed,” Mirsky recalled. “But I knew I must file the story for the paper. As the silver streaks of bullets lighted the darkness, a student next to me said: ‘Don’t worry. The soldiers are using blanks.’ A few seconds later he slumped over, dead, with a wet red circle on his chest.
“As I began to leave the square,” Mirsky continued, “I came to a knot of armed police whose trouser bottoms had been ignited by Molotov cocktails thrown by workers. When they saw me passing they shouted at me to stop. I said: “Don’t hit me. I’m a journalist.” Their officer shouted back, in Chinese: “Fuck you, we’re going to kill you.”