On June 4, Hongkongers Remember Tiananmen 1989 Despite Heavy Police Presence

This year marks the 33rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre. Effectively under communist rule, the traditional candlelight vigil on June 4 in Victoria Park has been banned one way or other for the third year. Yet despite warnings from the police and their heavy presence, the people of Hong Kong are still marking the occasion in their own ways.Since 1990, the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China (HKASPDMC, referred to as “The Alliance” hereafter) had hosted the Victoria Park candlelight vigil, the world’s largest June 4 memorial, at the soccer fields in Victoria Park, Causeway Bay. On this day every year, hundreds of thousands of Hongkongers and tourists gathered in Victoria Park, to light candles and chant slogans, in memory of victims of the 1989 Communist Party’s bloody crackdown on students and citizens demanding political reform and democracy in Tiananmen Square. Photo taken on June 4, 2019 of the candlelight vigil held in Victoria Park, Hong Kong, hosted by The Alliance (HKASPDMC) to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Tiananmen Protests in 1989. (Choi Manman/The Epoch Times) This year, for the second year in a row, Hong Kong authorities had divided Victoria Park up into sections and closed them off. Hong Kong Island Senior Superintendent Liauw Ka-kei warned at a press conference on June 2 that people could go to Causeway Bay on the night of June 4, but if they were found in Victoria Park, even alone, they might still be charged with illegal gathering. He also warned that participating in unauthorized assemblies in Victoria Park, or encourage others to join such assemblies, could be sentenced to prison. Hong Kong Police on High Alert; Areas Near Victoria Park Sealed off Early morning on June 4, police were already seen at all corners of Victoria Park. They patrolled the area in teams of four, with dogs, for the whole day until 11 p.m. A notice was posted onsite, stating that the number of people in a gathering must not exceed four. At around 1 pm, the police, including many plainclothes, were seen stopping and body-searching “suspicious individuals” —- people wearing black or yellow in particular, especially youth. Later, police turned their attention to reporters at the scene, summoning them one by one to a designated area, where body-search was conducted and personal belongings checked. One reporter was stopped twice by the police within an 10 minutes interval. June 4, 2022, hundreds of police were dispatched to Causeway Bay and in the vicinity of Victoria Park. (Song Beelong/The EpochTimes) Police officers in front of Sogo Department Store, Causeway Bay. (Song Beelong/The Epoch Times) Hongkonger Paying Tribute in Their Own Different Ways Despite the police’s earlier appeal not to “assemble alone”, there was no shortage of people who defied the warning throughout the day. While seemingly strolling the streets, citizens paid tribute in their own ways. A family of three was spotted wearing tops with political messages while “shopping” in Causeway Bay, and a female citizen was seen with flowers in her hands. A lady wearing a yellow top with printed words “Go Hong Kong” was handing out blank A4 sheets to passers-by. She explained that it meant “blessings to Hong Kong”. The police said her presence had caused people to gather, and warned her repeatedly to stop or risk to be arrested. She told reporters that it was legal to mourn the victims of the June 4 Tiananmen incident and could not understand why the police was making such a fuss. Lady wearing a yellow top with the words “Go Hong Kong” was handing out blank A4 sheets. The police tried to stop her. (Yu Gang/The Epoch Times) The police also targeted a man with white flowers tied to his backpack, Mr. Liu, pushing him to a “designated area” to search him and inspect his belongings. He later said in an interview that he just “wanted to come out to take a look, to see if people might have forgotten, and saw that Hong Kong people had not forgotten the day.” Mr. Liu said he had always participated in the June 4 rally in the past, so he simply came out this year just like before. Rourou, a 10 year-old girl, showed a candle shaped plastic block in her hand to the reporter. She came to Causeway Bay today with her family, passing by the outside of Victoria Park. (Tang Jianfeng/The Epoch Times) Someone placed a number of electronic candles in a phone booth in Causeway Bay, with words like “Support Tiananmen Mothers”, “Call for Conscience” and “Seek Justice” written on them. As well, several stickers were found there showing a young man, blocking a Chinese Communist tank convoy on Chang’an Street, Beijing on June 4, 1989. Several electronic candles were found inside a public telephone booth in Causeway Bay on June 4, 2022. Police took them away. (Yu Gong / The Epoch Times) Mr. Yan, dressed in black, came with two friends. They took a selfie holding a Lego tank. Mr Yan said he came to Causeway Bay (Lego

On June 4, Hongkongers Remember Tiananmen 1989 Despite Heavy Police Presence

This year marks the 33rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre. Effectively under communist rule, the traditional candlelight vigil on June 4 in Victoria Park has been banned one way or other for the third year. Yet despite warnings from the police and their heavy presence, the people of Hong Kong are still marking the occasion in their own ways.

Since 1990, the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China (HKASPDMC, referred to as “The Alliance” hereafter) had hosted the Victoria Park candlelight vigil, the world’s largest June 4 memorial, at the soccer fields in Victoria Park, Causeway Bay.

On this day every year, hundreds of thousands of Hongkongers and tourists gathered in Victoria Park, to light candles and chant slogans, in memory of victims of the 1989 Communist Party’s bloody crackdown on students and citizens demanding political reform and democracy in Tiananmen Square.

Epoch Times Photo
Photo taken on June 4, 2019 of the candlelight vigil held in Victoria Park, Hong Kong, hosted by The Alliance (HKASPDMC) to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Tiananmen Protests in 1989. (Choi Manman/The Epoch Times)

This year, for the second year in a row, Hong Kong authorities had divided Victoria Park up into sections and closed them off. Hong Kong Island Senior Superintendent Liauw Ka-kei warned at a press conference on June 2 that people could go to Causeway Bay on the night of June 4, but if they were found in Victoria Park, even alone, they might still be charged with illegal gathering. He also warned that participating in unauthorized assemblies in Victoria Park, or encourage others to join such assemblies, could be sentenced to prison.

Hong Kong Police on High Alert; Areas Near Victoria Park Sealed off

Early morning on June 4, police were already seen at all corners of Victoria Park. They patrolled the area in teams of four, with dogs, for the whole day until 11 p.m. A notice was posted onsite, stating that the number of people in a gathering must not exceed four.

At around 1 pm, the police, including many plainclothes, were seen stopping and body-searching “suspicious individuals” —- people wearing black or yellow in particular, especially youth. Later, police turned their attention to reporters at the scene, summoning them one by one to a designated area, where body-search was conducted and personal belongings checked. One reporter was stopped twice by the police within an 10 minutes interval.

Epoch Times Photo
June 4, 2022, hundreds of police were dispatched to Causeway Bay and in the vicinity of Victoria Park. (Song Beelong/The EpochTimes)
Epoch Times Photo
Police officers in front of Sogo Department Store, Causeway Bay. (Song Beelong/The Epoch Times)

Hongkonger Paying Tribute in Their Own Different Ways

Despite the police’s earlier appeal not to “assemble alone”, there was no shortage of people who defied the warning throughout the day. While seemingly strolling the streets, citizens paid tribute in their own ways.

A family of three was spotted wearing tops with political messages while “shopping” in Causeway Bay, and a female citizen was seen with flowers in her hands.

A lady wearing a yellow top with printed words “Go Hong Kong” was handing out blank A4 sheets to passers-by. She explained that it meant “blessings to Hong Kong”. The police said her presence had caused people to gather, and warned her repeatedly to stop or risk to be arrested. She told reporters that it was legal to mourn the victims of the June 4 Tiananmen incident and could not understand why the police was making such a fuss.

Epoch Times Photo
Lady wearing a yellow top with the words “Go Hong Kong” was handing out blank A4 sheets. The police tried to stop her. (Yu Gang/The Epoch Times)

The police also targeted a man with white flowers tied to his backpack, Mr. Liu, pushing him to a “designated area” to search him and inspect his belongings. He later said in an interview that he just “wanted to come out to take a look, to see if people might have forgotten, and saw that Hong Kong people had not forgotten the day.” Mr. Liu said he had always participated in the June 4 rally in the past, so he simply came out this year just like before.

Epoch Times Photo
Rourou, a 10 year-old girl, showed a candle shaped plastic block in her hand to the reporter. She came to Causeway Bay today with her family, passing by the outside of Victoria Park. (Tang Jianfeng/The Epoch Times)

Someone placed a number of electronic candles in a phone booth in Causeway Bay, with words like “Support Tiananmen Mothers”, “Call for Conscience” and “Seek Justice” written on them. As well, several stickers were found there showing a young man, blocking a Chinese Communist tank convoy on Chang’an Street, Beijing on June 4, 1989.

Epoch Times Photo
Several electronic candles were found inside a public telephone booth in Causeway Bay on June 4, 2022. Police took them away. (Yu Gong / The Epoch Times)

Mr. Yan, dressed in black, came with two friends. They took a selfie holding a Lego tank. Mr Yan said he came to Causeway Bay (Lego World) to “buy toys”. Being “a fan of tanks”, he loves to build tank models and collects them “as war is happening”. The police also pulled the other two men aside to search them and inspect their toys.

When asked whether he thought people’s freedom have been taken away when the Victoria Park was sealed off. Mr. Yin joked: “If you use the words of Mr. Lee Ka-chiu… , freedom of assembly in Hong Kong is the same as one’s identity card, which can never be taken away. I am ‘deeply convinced’ what Mr. Lee Ka-chiu said is true. I ‘believe’ Hong Kong still has a lot of freedom, there is still freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and freedom to walk on the street.”

As more pedestrians poured into the streets at night, the police also stepped up their presence in Causeway Bay, constantly intercepting and checking citizens, resulting in an increasingly tense atmosphere.

Epoch Times Photo
Hundreds of police were sent to patrol the vicinity of Victoria Park in Causeway Bay, intercepting people at various entrances. (Yu Gang/The Epoch Times)

A citizen with his cell-phone-light turned on was intercepted and searched by the police, another citizen dressed in black was told to unlock his cell-phone for inspection, yet another citizen, wearing a black top with the printed words “Go Hong Kong !” (香港加油) was charged with “INTERFERING WITH A POLICE OFFICER (阻差辦公)” and arrested.

Pro-democratic Activists Commemorating June 4 near Victoria Park

Mr Lau Ting-sing went to Causeway Bay wearing a yellow top and a FDNOL face mask to “have dinner alone.” (FDNOL face masts are made in HK by local manufacturer “Yellow Factory”, the color yellow stands for pro-democracy camp; FIVE DEMANDS, NOT ONE LESS was Hongkongers’ slogan during the 2019 anti-extradition movement) When questioned by a reporter if the outlaw of “one-person gathering” was a concern, he replied “No.”

“And we have MIRROR & ERROR (Hong Kong’s popular boy band and girl band) here accompanying us,” said he, and expressed the wish to “try hang around in the area tonight as much as possible.” He also bragged “I don’t need to carry flowers, because I have them on my shirt.”

Former standing committee member of the now (disbanded) Alliance, Chiu Yan-loy (趙恩來), was immediately surrounded by the police as he stepped out of the MTR station. He was hustled into a “designated area” along the East Point Road and searched, his flowers confiscated, before being taken away from the scene.

Chan Po Ying, chairman of the League of Social Democrats (LDS), and two other members of the LDS wearing white face masks with a large “X”, originally planning to hold a “Standing Man” session, to commemorate the victims of June 4, and also mourn the loss of freedom of assembly in Hong Kong, were taken away by the police in less than one minute, to a designated area for body-search and investigation.

Epoch Times Photo
Chan Po Ying, chairman of the League of Social Democrats (LDS) and two other members planned to hold a “Standing Man” session last night at East Point Road (東角道), to commemorate the victims of June 4 and also mourn the loss of freedom of assembly in Hong Kong. In less than one minutes, they were taken away by the police to a designated area for body-search and investigation. (Connie Yuen /The Epoch Times HK)

Lee Cheuk-yan, former chairman of the now “disbanded”  Alliance, posted an online letter to his family from prison, declaring hunger strike the whole day of June 4, stating that he would light a match on 8pm, to “remember the thousands of candle lights in the many years past, in the Victoria Park”. He gave himself the theme – “remain true to our original aspiration, etch June 4 into our memory, and persevere”, insisting that “fighting for democracy” is not guilty. It was also widely reported that Albert Ho Chun-yan 何俊仁 (former chair) and Chow Hang-tung 鄒幸彤 (former vice-chair) of the Alliance were also holding hunger strikes in prison, at the same time.

Epoch Times Photo
A little boy walking past the streets in Causeway Bay, raising a cell-phone above his head with light turned on. (Yu Gang/The Epoch Times, HK)

Commemorating Activities at Foreign Consulates and Universities

Consulate generals of many countries posted commemorating messages of June 4 on their social media pages. The U.S. Consulate General to Hong Kong and Macau changed their Facebook cover to a photo of the famous “Pillar of Shame” statue, which used to stand on campus ground at the Hong Kong University. The Consulate had lots of candle lights visible through the windows facing the street, as well as posting online: “We remember.”

Epoch Times Photo
Lit candles shined through the windows of the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong last night, commemorating the 33rd anniversary of June 4 Tiananmen. (Song Beelong/The Epoch Times, Hong Kong)

The New Zealand Consulate-General and Canadian Consulate General in Hong Kong had also openly commemorated June 4 with social media posts, reiterating their responsibility to uphold human rights and universal freedom. And the Polish Consulate General in Hong Kong posted two pictures, the first one was a candle with its caption saying Poland is the largest candle-making country in the EU; the second was an introduction to the Polish parliamentary election on June 4, 1989 which was a trigger that pushed forward the process of democracy in central Europe.

The “Goddess of Democracy” statue in the Chinese University of Hong Kong was suddenly removed by the University authority early in the morning on Dec 24 last year. This year, some Hongkongers still came to the spot where the statue used to stand, to lay flowers to commemorate victims of the Tiananmen Massacre. One student from mainland China, who came with flowers, said he can feel the statue is in his heart, and that being a mainlander, he felt even more responsibility to remember “Tiananmen June 4”.

Nie Law

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