On June 3, Ding Zilin's son Jiang Jielian rode his bike to Muxidi with a friend trying to stop the PLA from using force against the protesters. When he was hit, he first thought it was a rubber bullet. He didn't believe that the government would use force against their own people. Ding Zilin lost her son in the Tian An Men Square protests. He was only 17. In two years after the protests, she tried to kill herself six times.
In August of 1989, Ding met another woman in similar circumstances. Then she met another. And another. She started compiling a list of those who died in the square and notified their families. She also founded Tiananmen Mothers, a group that helps deliver humanitarian aid to families of the deceased and those injured in the protests.
Her acts are acts of extreme courage. Before the protests, Ding was a respected philosophy professor at People's University in Beijing. After she spoke out against the government, her colleagues shunned her. In 1991, she gave an interview to ABC News. The government prevented her from going to class, expelled her from the party, and eventually forced her into early retirement. She was put under 24 hour surveillance and her communications were limited. In 1995, she was detained on unspecified charges. However, she continues to lobby gainst the Chinese government.
Read more about Tiananmen Mothers