EVENT – Tiananmen Massacre Vigil: 25 Years On – Next Wed, Victoria Park.

Tens of thousands of Hong Kongers will gather in Victoria Park next Wednesday night (June 4th) to remember those killed in the Tiananmen Square massacre. The annual candlelit vigil begins at 8pm but it is advisable to arrive early. Hong Wrong will be covering the event (see coverage from  201320122009).

Hong Kong's Candlelit vigil 2014

On May 21st, 1989, Hong Kong saw its biggest ever protest. The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China organised a solidarity march for those involved in the Tiananmen Square demonstrations – it bought 1.5 million people onto the streets. Huge protests continued on the 28th and on June 4th itself.

Statue Square, Hong Kong, May 1989

Statue Square, Hong Kong, May, 1989

The Tiananmen massacre was arguably ‘Hong Kong’s 9/11’ in how it is a scar on the collective conscience. And – like 9/11 – 6/4 has had emotional and political echoes throughout time since it happened, often being used as a political football.

1989 protest at Happy Valley racecourse, Georges Biannic/AFP/Getty

1989 protest at Happy Valley racecourse, Georges Biannic/AFP/Getty

Many locals lost trust in the Beijing authorities and the British colonial government responded by speeding up democratic reforms in the run-up to the 1997 Handover.

Protests around Hong Kong

Protests around Hong Kong during May and June, 1989

Thousands of Hong Kongers left for western countries such as Canada and Australia.

Scenes from 1989 in Hong Kong

Scenes from 1989 in Hong Kong

This week, a video of a Hong Kong girl singing ‘Do You Hear the People Sing’ in Cantonese has been going viral. The re-written Les Misérables song remains synonymous with the annual commemoration events.

A rough translation via Real HK News

Who has yet to speak up?
We all have the responsibility to defend our city.
We are born with the rights and have the desire to be in charge of our own land.
Who would surrender to suppression and remain silent.
Who has not been woken up?
The sound of freedom is spreading.
Waking up our consciences which we shall never forget

Why is a sweet dream still a dream, and many still hope that our dream would be granted by others?
It is easy for us to tell black from white and right from wrong!
To defend the future of our next generation, we must open our eyes now!

No one should remain silent, and watch Hong Kong to be turned red!
Ask ourselves then use our own hands to fight for a future we have a vote in!
We are humans, we have the responsibility and freedom to choose and shape our future!


‘Fatescapes’, a project by Czech artist Pavel Maria Smejkal.

The SCMP video below tells the story of ‘Operation Yellow Bird’ where scores of mainland activists were smuggled into Hong Kong to escape the crackdown…

Enter the park from Causeway Bay or Tin Hau MTR stations…

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