The first anniversary of Premier Chou En-lai's death brought huge crowds into the streets of Peking today demanding the execution of Mao Tse-tung's widow and three other purged radical leaders.
Columns marched across Tien An Meu Square with paper wreaths, portraits of Chou and black benners reading: "The crimes of the "gang of four" in madly persecuting Premier Chou deserve 10,000 deaths."
The official New China News Agency accused the four radicals of suppressing past reports on the mourning for Chou.
"Accordingly," the agency said today," (the agency) had to kill a story about the whole nation mourning the premier, and from that day on, the beloved premier of the Chinese people disappeared from the Chinese press."
Effigis of the disgraced radicals - including a hideous, green-dressed image of Mao's widow, Chiang Ching - hund from a tree on the main Avenue of Eternal Tranquility.
Mocking youths gathered nearby chanted: "look at the four hanging from the tree. That is just where they should be."
At the same time, the anniversary has turned into an open demonstration of public support for former Vice premier Teng Hsiao-ping who has toppled in a radical-inspired campaign last year."
Thousands of people swarmed enthusiastically around wall posters calling for Teng's rehabilitation and for a reexamination of last April's riots in the Square of Heavenly Peace.
The riots sprang from the radical campaign that brought down the veteran leader who, as China's top administrator a year ago, wielded enormous power in the Communist Party, the government and the military. Teng, now 73, had been expected to succeed Chou as premier.
Originally, the riots were denounced as counter-revolutionary and blamed on Teng's supporters. But today's posters took the line that the disorders here "a brilliant page in the history of the Chinese revolution."
The strength of pro-Teng sentiment surprised some observers. Only four months ago he was being branded as China's arch-villian and biggest "capitalist roader."
But the campaign against him ended after the radicals were arrested last October and analysts believe that a decision may already have been made to rehabilitate him.
Despite mounting demands for the execution of the "gang of four," analysts doubt that the death sentence will be passed on Chiang Ching and her associates accused of plotting to seize power after Mao's death."
Some posters accused the radicals of having opposed the hugely popular Chou during the final years of his life when he was battling cancer.
Sobbing groups took oaths on allegiance "to our beloved Chou" at the Gates of the Forbidden City and softly sang the "Internationale." Slogans and ribbons lauded him as "the people's premier."
A poem pinned to a wreath said that if Chou returned from heaven he would smile with pleasure at theway things were developing in China."