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1989 Tiananmen Square massacre victims remembered despite protest bans

(TibetanReview.net, Jun05’21) – The days of Hong Kong citizens marking the anniversary of the Jun 4, 1989 massacre of peaceful democracy activists by the Communist Party of China on the Tiananmen Square in Beijing may have all but ended with the local authorities banning the event for the second successive year in the name of Covid-19 restrictions. Future, post-Covid-19 period bans will in all likelihood come in the name of the National Security Law for Hong Kong, with the gatherings being ruled as anti-national.

This year, ahead of the event’s 32nd anniversary, the authorities began enforcing the ban by arresting pro-democracy activist Chow Hang Tung, vice chairwoman of the Hong Kong Alliance which organises annual vigils for victims of the massacre.

She was arrested for promoting unauthorised assembly, reported the bbc.com un 4. She had continued to call on residents to commemorate the anniversary in their own ways.

“Turn on the lights wherever you are – whether on your phone, candles or electronic candles,” she was reported to have posted on Facebook a day before her arrest.

Police closed off Victoria Park, where citizens usually gather each year to mark the anniversary. Thousands of officers had been placed on standby to stop any attempt to hold the event, the report said.

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Despite the ban, hundreds of people gathered in Hong Kong near the site of a banned candlelight vigil on Jun 4, lighting up their phone flashlights as thousands of police turned out to guard the area and prevent anyone from getting through, reported the Mandarin and Cantonese Services of rfa.org Jun 4.

Without talking to each other, the bystanders lit up their phones at around 8.00 pm outside the closed gates of Victoria park, at the time when the banned vigil marking the 32nd anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre would have begun, the report said.

Also, candles were lit in multiple windows of the buildings housing the United States consulate and European Union office in Hong Kong.

students at the University of Hong Kong were reported to have given an annual cleaning to a sculpture commemorating the crackdown titled the Pillar of Shame.

Seven Catholic churches in Hong Kong had offered a mass for the dead on Jun 4, while several Protestant organizations held prayer and meditation meetings to honor those who died, the report said.

The authorities had earlier warned that anyone wearing black, carrying flowers or candles, or chanting slogans could be deemed to have broken the ban, which the government claimed was issued under Covid-19 restrictions for the second year running.

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Mourners and activists outside China also marked the anniversary of the bloody crackdown by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) that ended weeks of peaceful, student-led mass protests on Tiananmen Square.

In London, thousands of protestors gathered at the Chinese Embassy in London to mark Jun 4th massacre at Tiananmen Square. The protest was organised by London Remembers June 4th, Chinese Solidarity Campaign, Democracy for Hong Kong (D4HK), World Uyghur Congress, Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities (GATPM), Labour Movement Solidarity with Hong Kong – UK, Uyghur Solidarity Campaign and Tibetan Community UK.

The protestors shouted slogans against the Chinese repression and were seen waving black flags as well as the flag of Free Tibet at the vigil in London, reported the ANI Jun 5.

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