4 June 1989 should perhaps be counted as the very starting point of the momentous events of 1989 which culminated in the opening of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Empire in December 1991. On 4 June 1989 Poland, as the first East Bloc country, held elections which were very close to being fully democratic, with only a few seats in parliament reserved for the Communist Party. On the same day Ayatollah Khomeini died in Iran and in Beijing hundreds or even thousands of peaceful protesters were killed when the ruthless Communist regime crushed the pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square.
New Statesman had an interesting series of articles on “The Year of the Crowd” in its issue of 12 March:
The Swedish news magazine Fokus also commemorated the events of 1989 in its latest issue last Friday: