On April 21, 1989, six days after the death of Hu Yaobang, the deposed reform-minded leader of the Chinese Communist Party, some 100,000 Chinese students gathered at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to commemorate Hu and voice their discontent with China’s authoritative communist government. At an official memorial service for Hu Yaobang, held the next day in Tiananmen’s Great Hall of the People, student representatives carried a petition to the steps of the Great Hall, demanding to meet with Premier Li Peng. The Chinese government refused the meeting, leading to a general boycott of Chinese universities across the country and widespread calls for democratic reforms. Days later, on April 27, students from more than 40 universities marched to Tiananmen Square and were joined by workers, intellectuals, and civil servants. By mid-May, more than a million people filled the square, the site of communist leader’s Mao Zedong’s proclamation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.