The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China raised HK$2.75 million during its candlelight vigil commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre on Tuesday – a new record.

The sum is much higher than the HK$1.46 million raised last year, and it beats the previous record high of 2012 when the Alliance received HK$2.33 million.

Revealing the figure on an RTHK radio programme on Wednesday morning, Alliance Secretary-General Lee Cheuk-yan said he believed it was because of the high attendance. The Alliance said more than 180,000 participated in this year’s annual vigil.

Lee Cheuk-yan. Photo: RTHK Screenshot.

“Hong Kong people feel a kind of pressure that they need to do something more for Hong Kong,” Lee said. “They are not only donating to the Alliance, like the friend [radio show caller] just said, they will donate to other groups.”

“There are concerns and pressure over the future. They wished to donate to support us,” he added.

The massacre occurred on June 4, 1989, ending months of student-led demonstrations in China. It is estimated that hundreds, perhaps thousands, died as the People’s Liberation Army suppressed protesters in Beijing.

People attend a candlelight vigil at Victoria Park in Hong Kong on June 4, 2019, to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown in Beijing. Photo: Philip Fong/AFP.

But Lee said he observed more young people joining the vigil on Tuesday night, and thanked teachers for bringing their students.

He added that the amount of mainland Chinese people attending the vigil should also not be overlooked: “We have to continue passing on and defending our memories,” Lee said.

He urged students and mainland people to visit the Alliance’s permanent Tiananmen Massacre museum.

The Hong Kong Free Press #PressForFreedom 2019 Funding Drive seeks to raise HK$1.2m to support our non-profit newsroom and dedicated team of multi-media, multi-lingual reporters. HKFP is backed by readers, run by journalists and is immune to political and commercial pressure. This year’s critical fundraiser will provide us with the essential funds to continue our work into next year.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.