Art at Site	Charles J.	Pu	Democracy Wall

Lü Pu

Democracy Wall

Xidan Street
During the November 1978 to December 1979, thousands of people put up "big character poster" on a long brick wall of Xidan Street, Xicheng District of Beijing, to protest about the political and social issues of China. Under acquiescence of the Chinese government, other kinds of protest activities, such as unofficial journals, petitions, and demonstrations, were also soon spreading out in major cities of China. This movement can be seen as the beginning of the Chinese Democracy Movement. It also known as the "Democracy Wall Movement". This short period of political liberation was called as "Beijing Spring".
On Oct 1st of 1978, the words "to liberate thought, to provide the best service to the people are the duties of CCP members", a theme for the CCP Party, was posted on the Xidan Wall in Beijing by civilians. Since then, people were allowed to post their opinions and free-style literature on street walls throughout the country. On November 23 of 1978, Lü Pu posted his writings on the Democracy Wall in Xidan. He critiqued Mao Zedong and pointed out that the real reasons behind the April 5th Movement were a backward economy, rigid thought control, and the poor living conditions of the people. This poster was called the "Fire Lighter of Democracy Wall". November 25, The Democracy Assembly Group was formed by Ren Wanding and eight other youths. Two days later they gathered at Xidan Democracy Wall and led a public march to Tiananmen Square. Over 10000 participants demanded democracy and human rights for China. This date marks the beginning of the Democracy Wall.