As the 30th anniversary approaches, several events in Hong Kong are set to honour the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square MassacreThe crackdown occurred on June 4, 1989, ending months of student-led demonstrations in China. It is estimated that hundreds, perhaps thousands, died when the People’s Liberation Army was deployed to suppress protesters in Beijing. 

Tiananmen Massacre vigil Victoria Park 2018

Candlelight vigil “Vindicate June 4” – the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China

The annual candlelight vigil held by the Alliance draws tens of thousands to Victoria Park to commemorate victims of the massacre. Organisers said on Wednesday that they expect this year’s turnout to reach a five-year high, exceeding that of 2014, which they say was attended by over 180,000 people. The event is conducted in Cantonese.

In recent years, student groups – such as the Hong Kong Federation of Students – have boycotted the vigil, fuelled by the division between the Alliance’s aspiration for a democratic China and localist sentiments for Hong Kong to have greater autonomy from the mainland.

Date and time: June 4, 8pm.
Location: Victoria Park.

Tiananmen Hong Kong alliance
Photo: Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China/Twitter.

Candlelight vigil in Kowloon

An alternative candlelight vigil will be held in Kowloon to commemorate victims of the massacre while calling for justice at a national and international level.

Organisers said their vigil diverges from the Alliance’s aspirations for a democratic China by focusing on the protection of freedoms in Hong Kong: “The organisers think that a democratic China would not benefit the civil liberties of Hong Kong,” they said. “We wish such a move would encourage Hong Kongers not to give up in the darkest hour of the territory.”

The vigil is set to feature Hong Kong activists who have been targeted by local authorities as speakers. “We wish such a move would encourage Hong Kongers not to give up in the darkest hour of the territory,” organisers added.

Police assembly approval and use of the venue is pending.

Date and time: June 4, 8.30pm.
Location: Freedom Fighter Monument at the Piazza of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

goddess democracy june 4 tiananmen vigil victoria park
The Goddess of Democracy at Hong Kong’s annual Tiananmen Massacre vigil. File photo: Etan Liam, via Flickr.

March “Vindicate June 4” – the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China

Along with the candlelight gathering, the Alliance will host an anti-authoritarianism march ahead of the vigil. The turnout is usually lower than that of the vigil, though it is also an annual tradition which forms part of the commemorations.

Date and time: May 26, 3pm.
Location: From Southorn Playground to the China Liaison Office.

Tiananmen Hong Kong alliance
Photo: Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China/Twitter.

Local June 4 tour –  89 Hong Kong Guided Democracy Tours

Three guided tours from 89 Hong Kong Guided Democracy Tours will be hosted around Hong Kong, with a focus on the Tiananmen Massacre. The tours, in their sixth year, will be led by guides Chan King-fai and Kong King-chu, featuring special guests scholar Ip Iam-chong, pro-democracy leader Martin Lee and former lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung.

Organisers said guides will revisit the massacre through a local lens. The route includes the Happy Valley Racecourse, the old Xinhua News Agency, the “Democracy Stand” in Wan chai, Chater Garden and the Star Ferry Pier. Sign up is required beforehand here, with a maximum of 20 attendees per tour. Tickets are sold at HK$50 each.

Date and time: May 25 (Ip Iam-chong), June 1 (Martin Lee) and 2 (Leung Kwok-hung), 2.30-5.30pm.
Location: The office of the Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union (PTU) in Causeway Bay.

89 Hong Kong Guided Democracy Tour
Photo: 89 Hong Kong Guided Democracy Tour/Facebook.

Catholic Mass in commemoration of June 4

The Justice and Peace Commission of the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese will hold a mass officiated by Cardinal Joseph Zen.

Date and time: May 31, 8pm.
Location: Saint Francis of Assisi’s Catholic Church in Shek Kip Mei.


June 4 exhibition – the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Joint Student Union Exhibition

A bilingual exhibition of the historical events surrounding the massacre will be held from Saturday onwards in CUHK.

Organisers said that through displaying a timeline and description of the events relating to the crackdown, they hope to enrich the knowledge of attendees. “The exhibition also aims at showing the close connection between the June 4 incident and CUHK students,” they said.

Date: May 25 – June 7.
Location: University MTR Station Piazza.

Matches Polished into Lights: Tiananmen 30 Years On – Cha: Asian Literary Journal in collaboration with PEN Hong Kong & HKFP

Cha: Asian Literary Journal is collaborating with PEN Hong Kong and HKFP to host an English language literary reading of texts and translations, selected by a group of writers to reflect their remembrance of the Tiananmen protests, their views on democracy, and hopes for the future of Hong Kong and China.

Speakers include Jennifer Anne Eagleton, Guo Ting, Lucas Klein, Louisa Lim, William Nee, Jason Y. Ng, Mei Kwan Ng, Kate Rogers, and more. Entry is free.

Date: June 3, 7.30-9pm.
Location: Bleak House Books (Unit 2705, 9 Pat Tat Street, Well Tech Centre, San Po Kong, Hong Kong).

tiananmen massacre readings

June 4 forum and short film premiere – Apple Daily

The event will premiere a new short film by director Jevons Au, starring actor Gregory Wong. The two will take part in a forum after the screening, which will also feature Nathan Law, “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung and Chow Hang-tung from the Hong Kong Alliance.

Both the film and the forum will focus on rediscovering the true story of June 4. [The event has sold out.]

Date: June 2, 2-4:30pm.
Location: The Wave, 4 Hing Yip Street, Kwun Tong.

June 4 30th anniversary forum – Apostles Media

The forum will feature Hendrick Lui, chairperson of Christians to the World, Lui Chun-yin of the Students Independence Union and Yeung Ho-yin, the founder of Apostle Media.

Date: June 4, 7:30-9:30pm.
Location: United Pentecostal Church of Hong Kong Sheung Wan Grace Church, 301 Finance Building, 254-256 Des Voeux Road Central, Sheung Wan.

Photo: 門徒媒體/Facebook.

June 4 30th anniversary memorial gathering – Sen Lok Christian Church, Christian group Portray

A memorial gathering hosted by Christian groups. Registration is required here.

Date: June 4, 7:45pm.
Location: The new chapel at the Divinity School Of Chung Chi College, The Chinese University Of Hong Kong.

Tiananmen square massacre
Photo: 屏采 Portray and 基督教善樂堂/Facebook.

June 4 seminar series – the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China

The fifth instalment of the Alliance’s June 4 seminar series will feature, Dr Ting Wai, a professor at Hong Kong Baptist University. The seminar will be in Cantonese only. Tickets cost HK$20 per seminar; half price for students, those above the age of 60, people with disabilities and CSSA recipients. Registration is required here.

Date: May 31, 7.30-9.30pm.
Location: Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union (HKPTU) Headquarters, 7th floor, Chung Kiu Commercial Building, 51 Shantung Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon.

Hong Kong Alliance
Photo: Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China.

June 4 poetry reading – Fleurs Des Lettres

Fleurs Des Lettres will host a poetry reading to remember victims of the Tiananmen Massacre. Attendees are invited to bring their own work to read.

Date: June 4, 8-11pm.
Location: Sense 99, 2nd floor, 99, Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong.

candle vigil tiananmen victoria park
A Tiananmen massacre vigil in Hong Kong in June, 2017. Photo: Catherine Lai.

More to follow. Your event not listed? Contact us.

Additional reporting: Holmes Chan.

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Jennifer Creery is a Hong Kong-born British journalist, interested in minority rights and urban planning. She holds a BA in English at King's College London and has studied Mandarin at National Taiwan University.