the police of Hong Kongdeployed in large numbers to prevent any commemoration, detained a prominent pro-democracy activist known as “Grandma Wong” this Sunday, in the 34th anniversary of the Beijing Tiananmen Square massacre.
Alexandra Wong carrying some flowers and was in the Causeway Bay commercial district of Hong Kong, when the authorities took her away and put her in a van, along with five other people, AFP journalists observed.
On the eve, the police already arrested several people in the surroundings of Victoria Park, in the commercial district of Causeway Bay, where every year thousands of people used to hold a candlelight vigil for the victims of these events.
In mainland China, the authorities have prohibited the commemoration of the events of June 4, 1989, when troops and tanks crushed the pro-democracy movement who had been demonstrating for weeks in that square in Beijing and killed more than a thousand people.
Hong Kongreturned to Beijing by the United Kingdom in 1997, it was for a time the only Chinese city to hold a candlelight vigil in memory in Victoria Park of those facts. But in 2020, a national security law imposed by the regime on the cityscene the year before of massive protests, put an end to these commemorations.
This year, the park is occupied by a trade fair dedicated to products from southern China and organized by pro-Beijing groups to celebrate the 26th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover.
“Hong Kong is a different city today,” estimated a 53-year-old woman. When she was asked about the vigil, she said that it was an event from the past.
“The spark continues”
On Saturday, the police already deployed en masse around that park and arrested four people for “disorderly conduct in public space” and another four for “disturbance of public order.”
AFP saw artist Sanmu Chen chant “Don’t forget June 4th!” before the police put him in a van.
The Chinese government has done everything possible to erase Tiananmen from public memory in China.. History books do not mention it and any online discussion on the subject is systematically censored.
The British Embassy in Beijing published the June 4, 1989 front page of the Chinese daily People’s Daily, which showed a report on how hospitals were inundated with victims. “In less than 20 minutes, the censors removed our post on Weibo (Chinese Twitter), the embassy tweeted on Sunday.
Authorities also deployed police around the Sitong Bridge in Beijing, where a protester had hung a banner calling for “freedom” in a rare protest last October.
Hong Kong’s most prominent pro-democracy activists have fled abroad or been detained since the security law was passed in 2020.
Hong Kong leader John Lee warned that people must act in accordance with the law or “be prepared to face the consequences.”
Vigils will be held in various cities around the world, from Japan to New York. In London, a reconstruction of the events will take place in Trafalgar Square.
In Taiwan, a self-governing country claimed by China, a small replica of the “Pillar of Shame” was set up on Sunday in preparation for a candlelight vigil. “History and memory will not be easily erased,” said Sky Fung, secretary general of the Taiwan-based NGO Hong Kong Outlanders. “The spark is still in our hearts,” he added.
With information from AFP
34 years after the Tiananmen massacre: step by step, how was the brutal massacre perpetrated by the Chinese regime
The Chinese regime blocked websites and social media accounts about the Tiananmen Massacre on the eve of the 34th anniversary of the massacre.