Hong Kong, China In the heart of Hong Kong, with a heavy police presence that all shattered the memory of the 32nd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, Kitt և several hundred people hoped to find a shrine next to it in blue collars on Friday.
Rosary in hand, a 37-year-old social worker joined the queue, which began to sink around the church of St. Francis of Assisi, just two hours before the memorial service.
“It seems like a pilgrimage to me,” said Keith, who declined to give his last name. “People still have ways to remember here. The action of the police does not erase what happened. “
On June 4, 1989, the Chinese government deployed troops to crush a student-led protest in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. It is estimated that at least hundreds of pro-democracy demonstrators, passers-by, if not more, were killed.
For 30 years since the incident, Hong Kong has held mass candlelight vigils for all those killed without government intervention.
For the second year in a row, as Beijing tightened controls on freedom of speech and assembly in Hong Kong, assembly in a semi-automated area was banned ostensibly because of coronavirus restrictions.
Of the thousands who ignored last year’s ban and woke up in the city’s central park, 26, mostly pro-democracy activists, were accused of participating in an unsanctioned rally. Last month, student leader Oshua Wong was sentenced to 10 months in prison after pleading guilty to participating in last year’s vigil.
Last June, Beijing enforced the National Security Act, which criminalizes acts of secession, sabotage and cooperation with foreign powers, and warned that anyone who violates this year’s ban could take the maximum risk. The sentence is five years
The former British colony of Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997 as part of a “one country, two systems” guaranteeing the rights and freedoms of the Hong Kong people, which were largely absent in mainland China, where the memory of Tiananmen’s violence is strictly forbidden.
The families of those shot by Chinese soldiers are monitored on every anniversary, while even private memorial gestures are punished.
In Hong Kong, however, the annual surveillance has involved tens of thousands of people over the years as generations of people have vowed to “never dare to forget.” The event was led by the Hong Kong Bloc, a coalition that supported China’s patriotic democratic movements and was originally formed in 1989 to help mainland protesters.
But as a new generation has grown up alienated from the mainland, young people are pursuing the alliance’s twin Chinese patriotism և Hong Kong’s own struggle for democracy. In recent years, many student activists have tended to boycott the bloc’s vigilance.
As a freshman in 2016, Jerry Yuen was one of them. But after one of his best friends, one of the activists, was among the accused, after which he fled to exile, 23-year-old Yuen changed his mind. A few days ago, he posted a video online in which he gathered his peers to continue the collective memory. :
Calling the annual commemoration ceremony “a political custom of Hong Kong,” Yuen said: “I am most interested in whether we will still fight.”
Some of those who took a public stand early were arrested as a precaution.
Chou Hang-tung, 37, has been on the alliance vigil since he was a child and posted his plans on Facebook to keep his eternal commitment by lighting a candle in the park. Police chased Chow out of his legal practice on Friday morning.
In a recent interview with Al Jazeera, Chow, vice president of the bloc, said: “I hope that Hong Kong already realizes that only a democratic China can secure its rights, that the struggle for democracy is part of a greater struggle here.”
In the afternoon, the police phalanx came out to close the park. As night fell, authorities smashed candlelight clamps in a nearby mall.
During a highway or major tug-of-war in Kowloon, a convoy of police cars was parked on a fast-paced, fast-paced road. A student activist who was trying to film a sidewalk a few blocks away has been arrested for documenting a massacre.
In order to stop the persecution by the police, many preferred to tell a low lie, but did not agree with the deacon’s statement of remembrance. Dress, the color code of a traditional Chinese funeral. Some of the arrested pro-democracy activists, including Chao, chose to fast to mark the date.
Before that, queuing outside the church, Alicia, who preferred not to give her last name, hoped to spend a quiet night.
“It seems to me that this is the only avenue that needs to be mentioned,” said Alicia. “I am here to be heard. Our spirit will be strong. ”