SCMP’s Priscilla Jiao says, a Chinese “mainland microblogger with more than four million followers had his microblog taken down by censors early yesterday morning after he posted a photo that some internet users linked to the candle-light vigil in Hong Kong on Monday night to commemorate the 23rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown.”
For details please visit SCMP at:
The large number of mainlanders participating in the candle light vigil in Hong Kong made the number of participants surge to 180,000, setting a new record and turning the local event into a national one. Hong Kong plays a new role now as a source of information on theTiananmen Square crackdown and as an outlet for political voices forbidden in the mainland.
According to SCMP, HK$2.3 million was raised on Monday night, about 80 per cent more than last year. Of that, about HK$24,000 were in Chinese yuan, up 25 per cent from last year.
For details, please visit SCMP at:
Hong Kong media Ming Pao and SCMP report that 180,000 people attended the candle light vigil to commemorate those killed in the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre, but police put the number at just 85,000.
According to SCMP’s description, waving candles and singing, the crowd spread across six soccer pitches and the nearby grass field. They chanted: “Release pro-democracy activists, build a democratic China, vindicate the June 4 movement, and end one-party dictatorship.”
Lee Cheuk-yan, chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China that organized the vigil, guesses that the sharp increase in participants this year is due to the increase in young and Chinese mainland participants and perhaps has something to do with the June 4 museum and democracy activist Fang Zheng’s participation in person.
Due to the large number of citizens who flooded the Victoria Park since 4:00pm, the organizer had to postpone the vigil by 20 minutes.
Tong, a primary 2 pupil who came with his father as soon as school was over to get a place in front of the platform, jumped with joy when he said that he had just donated HK$2,000 (US$250) to the Alliance. “I would have donated HK$10,000 (US$1,250) or HK$200 million (US$25 million) if I had had the money as I attach great importance to this event,” says Tong. According to him, when he was back in school after the vigil last year, he told half of his classmates about the Massacre. They were all amazed and said, “It was really bad, the killing. We wanted them to apologize.” Tong’s father said that he was astonished by the education Tong received in school. The new government is washing his brain so that he has to counter the brainwash and told his son the truth.
There were a particularly large number of youngsters in the Park this year including groups of college students who conducted their mourning in creative ways. Some secondary school pupils remained in school uniforms as they did not have time to change. Lin, 18, a secondary school pupil, said that though he had not personally watched footages of June 4 on TV screen, he was persistent in his views regarding that event. “Some of the old generation who have experienced may perhaps be indifferent now and do not have such a strong demand for democracy. I have taken it over from them and I will come as long as it is not vindicated!”
There was no shortage of those who had come to the Park every time for the past 23 years. Their persistence had not been faded by time. Uncle Lin who was released from hospital that very morning came to join the vigil. He insisted on coming along with his wife though he could no sit down due to the wound left by the operation. He was filled with tears when he talked about June 4. “They were all my sons (referring to Beijing students)! They are all good youngsters. There is nothing more grievous than this incident.”
Mr. Hu who has also come every time over the past 23 years said, “The atmosphere on the road leading to the entrance is quite different this year. There are obviously much more young people. I believe what the Alliance says about succession generation after generation has really come true this year.”
Fang Zheng, whose legs were crushed under a tank in Tiananmen Square, came to the Park for the first time yesterday and took lead in shouting the slogan “Vindicate June 4”. He was so agitated that he could not speak for a long time. Encourage repeatedly by the participants, he finally said, “This persistence has been kept on for 23 years. I know it is a sea filled with love and conscience. I am stunned when I see the candle lights. Whatever I say does not count. Your coming here has given full explanation: You have not forgotten!”
Besides Fang Zheng, the audio and video records of Guo Liying, representative of the Tiananmen Mothers activist group, and Wang Dan, former student movement leader, were played during the vigil.
Bloomberg says, “Tens of thousands of people gathered for a candlelight vigil on a humid night inHong Kong to remember victims of the government crackdown at Tiananmen Square 23 years ago and demand freedom to protest in mainland China.”
There is nothing unusual at Tiananmen Square itself yesterday with no sign of increased security or protests. As usual, dozens of police vehicles were stationed at the eastern and western approaches to the square and tourist groups followed flag-toting guides around the area.
For details please visit Bloomberg website at: