China bars foreign reporters from Tiananmen Square

Foreign journalists were barred from Beijing's Tiananmen Square on Wednesday as police fanned out across the vast plaza on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the bloody crackdown on 1989 pro-democracy protests. Authorities blocked social networking and image-sharing Web sites such as Twitter and Flickr and confined dissidents to their homes or forced them to leave Beijing, as they ramped up efforts to prevent online discussions about or commemorations of those who died in the military assault on demonstrators on the night of June 3-4 1989. Dozens of uniformed and plainclothes police guarded entrances to Tiananmen Square in the heart of Beijing that was the epicenter of the student-led protests. Officers demanded identification and turned away those whose passports said they were journalists. The sweeping measures have been imposed even though there were few signs of efforts to mark the protests within mainland China, where the government squelches all discussion of them.