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Thousands in Hong Kong defied ban to mark 31st Tiananmen Square massacre anniversary

Thousands in Hong Kong defied ban to mark 31st Tiananmen Square massacre anniversary. (Photo courtesy: HKFP)

(TibetanReview.net, Jun05’20) – Despite a Covid-19 ban on mass gatherings, thousands of people flooded Hong Kong’s Victoria Park on Jun 4 night for the annual candlelight vigil to mark the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.

The show of defiance came on a politically charged day as the legislature passed a law criminalising disrespect for the national anthem amid a raging controversy over China’s top legislative body tailor-making a national security law for the city, reported the scmp.com Jun 5.

Police stood back as the crowds poured into the park in Causeway Bay and took up a couple of football pitches despite warnings that thousands of riot officers were ready and would enforce anti-coronavirus rules limiting groups to a maximum of eight people each, the report said.

Participants were reported to have lit candles and torches in remembrance of the victims of the Jun 4 crackdown on China’s pro-democracy protests and shouted slogans challenging Beijing’s authority.

“End one-party rule!” and “Rectify the verdict on 1989 movement!” they were reported to have chanted, drowning out police warnings that they were taking part in an unauthorised assembly.

Other slogans they shouted were stated to include “Oppose national security law!” “Free Hong Kong, revolution of our times!” and “Hong Kong independence!”

The participants were reported to have held up candles and lights as the vigil began at 8pm and observed a minute’s silence at 8.09pm to mourn those who had died 31 years ago.

In his address to the gathering, chairman Lee Cheuk-yan of the Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China was quoted as saying during the 45-minute event, “The people and students of China rose to fight for freedom and democracy. The Chinese Communist Party, in defending its dictatorship, answered with bloodshed.”

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