Nearly 200,000 people gathered in Hong Kong’s Victoria Park on Tuesday to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the massacre by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) that crushed the 1989 student-led democracy movement in Beijing, according to the organizers.
In the only public memorial of the massacre on Chinese soil, the crowd chanted slogans calling for a reappraisal of the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s official verdict of “counterrevolutionary rebellion” that it says justified the decision to send in tanks and order PLA soldiers to fire on unarmed civilians.
Organizers put the number of participants at around 180,000. Aerial photos of the vigil in Hong Kong’s Victoria Park showed the crowd spilling over onto adjacent lawns after filling six football pitches.
“Justice will triumph!” the crowd chanted, as well as slogans opposing government plans to allow renditions of alleged criminal suspects to face charges in mainland China, in a legal amendment that has sparked widespread fear that the city will lose its status as a separate legal jurisdiction, and that rights activists and dissidents in the city could be targeted by Beijing for actions deemed illegal across the internal border.
“Oppose the evil send-to-China law,” the crowd chanted, using a pun on the Cantonese for “final send-off,” meaning a funeral.
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Reported by Lau Siu-fung for RFA’s Cantonese Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.
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