The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China has received a police notice banning their annual commemorative candlelight vigil for the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre victims for the first time in 30 years. The authorities cited the Covid-19 group gathering ban. However, there are fears the vigil in Causeway Bay’s Victoria Park – where attendees call for an end to one-party rule – may never happen again in light of the looming national security law.

Photo: Etan Liam, via Flickr.

Thursday marks the 31st anniversary of the crackdown in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square where the military’s intervention against a student-led movement resulted in hundreds, perhaps thousands of deaths. HKFP rounds up alternative commemorative events across the city.


Literary readings

PEN Hong Kong and Cha: An Asian Literary Journal are organising English-language readings over Zoom on Wednesday evening at 8pm. Events details are on Facebook.

“To honour the struggle of the democracy protesters, mourn their defeat, and take stock of the last three decades and more, PEN Hong Kong and Cha: An Asian Literary Journal are gathering a group of writers from Hong Kong and overseas on Wednesday 3 June 2020 to read selected texts that they feel reflect their remembrance of the protests, their views on democracy, and their hopes for the future for Hong Kong and China,” they wrote.

Victoria Park

The Alliance – the annual vigil organiser – said they will nevertheless go to Victoria Park in groups of eight, in accordance with disease control regulations which prohibit public gatherings of more than eight people.

They encourage the public to light candles at 8pm, observe a minute’s silence at 8:09pm and upload a photo of themselves mourning to social media platforms under the hashtag #6431truth.


Other than vigils organised by the Alliance, various district councillors and citizens are also planning to commemorate the massacre.

Mong Kok

  • Time: 8pm (light up candles), 8:09pm (observe a minute of silence).
  • Venue: Gather around the sculpture outside Langham Place mall.
June 4 vigil in Mong Kok outside Langham Place.

Whampoa

  • Time: 3:30pm-8pm (street stall), 8pm-10pm (vigil and movie screening).
  • Venue: Whampoa promenade.
June 4 movie screening and vigil in Whampoa.

Tsuen Wan

  • Time: 8pm (light up candles), 8:09pm (observe a minute of silence).
  • Venue: Sai Lau Kok Garden, Tsuen Wan Park (exit at Yeung Uk Road), outside Tsuen Wan District Council, Lei Muk Shue Shopping Centre, Tsuen Wan Centre, Tsuen Wan Plaza, footbridge opposite to Citistore, Belvedere Garden Phase 3 water fountain, Citywalk footbridge, Rhine Garden in Sham Tseng, Shek Wai Kok shopping centre.
Candle light everywhere in memory of June 4. The poster lists various meet-up points of candlelight vigils coordinated by a number of Tsuen Wan district councillors.

Lamma Island / Central ferry piers

  • Time: 4pm-7pm on Thursday.
  • Venue: Yung Shue Wan.
    Also:
  • Venue: Candle street stalls at Central Pier.
  • Time: 4pm-6:30pm on Tuesday, 6pm-8:30pm on Wednesday.
Commemorations on Lamma Island.

Tai Po

  • Time: 8pm.
  • Venue: Tai Po Plaza.
June 4 vigil in Tai Po Plaza.

Kwai Tsing

  • Time: 7:30pm.
  • Venue: Shek Lei shopping centre.
Over the past 30 years, Victoria Park has been lit up with candles to commemorate June 4 annually. This year Carrie Lam’s government use social distancing measures as an excuse to ban the vigil. However, Hongkongers will not succumb and will blossom in every corner with candles in memory of the incident. We cordially invite all residents pf Northeastern Kwai Chung district to participate.
  • Time: 5pm
  • Venue: Kwai Chung Plaza, Tai Wo Hau MTR exit B, Yin Lai Court Shopping Centre
June 4 vigil in Kwai Chung.

Online tributes

The Alliance has also joined hands with pro-democracy activist groups worldwide on the day. Messages under the hashtag #6431truth will be uploaded to an online interactive wall.


Lai Chi Kok on the eve of June 4

  • Time: 7:30pm on Wednesday
  • Venue: outside Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre

There have been calls online for crowds to gather outside Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre on the eve of June 4. Participants will commemorate Tiananmen Massacre victims and echo support with protesters currently detained inside the correctional facility.

Commemorate June 4 behind and outside the wall. Freedom shall blossom. Candle light vigil outside Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre with detained protesters.

Meanwhile, organiser of an alternative memorial at Tsim Sha Tsui Clock Tower announced the cancellation of their annual English-language vigil.

Correction 21.6: A previous version of this article made reference to the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China as opposed to the correctly named Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China.

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Rachel Wong

Rachel Wong previously worked as a documentary producer and academic researcher. She has a BA in Comparative Literature and European Studies from the University of Hong Kong. She has contributed to A City Made by People and The Funambulist, and has an interest in cultural journalism and gender issues.