Han Dongfang was a railway worker, son of a farmer and a construction worker, when he heard of the student demonstrations on Tiananmen Square.
He now lives in Hong Kong and runs the China Labour Bulletin, actively supporting the rights of Chinese workers.
"I was passing by Tiananmen Square on 16 April 1989, the first day students were gathering when [reformist leader] Hu Yaobang suddenly died.
"So I got off the bus at the next stop and went into the square and took a look, purely for my curiosity," Mr Han told the BBC.
Rapid political education followed - and the day after China's first autonomous workers' union was established on the square on 19 May 1989, he became its spokesman.
"Twenty years ago, students were leading the movement; they were in the square, they were everywhere in the street, and Beijing citizens and [people] also from many other provinces... supporting the students. It was one movement," he recalled.
Having done three years in China's military, he could not believe soldiers would fire on the people they were entrusted to protect.
But on 3 June 1989, he said people woke him up to tell him the soldiers had started shooting.
"And I did hear the bullets, bah bah bah bah, outside the tent.
"Even at that moment I was telling myself it was rubber bullets, not real bullets, and I walked out of my tent."
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