Militant young supporters of Mao Zedong during the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966–69). Taking their name from the army units organized by Mao in 1927, the Red Guards, numbering several million, provided the popular, paramilitary vanguard of the Cultural Revolution. As well as supposed reactionaries, they attacked the Communist Party establishment, China's cultural heritage, and all vestiges of Western influence, maintaining the momentum of the movement through mass demonstrations, a constant poster war, and violent attacks on people and property. Fighting between opposing Red Guard groups led to thousands of deaths. After the Cultural Revolution, many were sent into the countryside for forced ‘re-education’.
Subjects: World History.