Pro-democracy demonstrators carry placards with Chinese reads “Withdraw extradition law, Vindicate June 4th” during a demonstration in Hong Kong, Sunday, May 26, 2019. A vigil will be held on June 4 at the Victoria Park to mark the 30th anniversary of the military crackdown on the pro-democracy movement at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Thousands in Hong Kong commemorate 1989 Tiananmen protests

Hundreds, if not thousands, of unarmed protesters and onlookers were killed late on June 3

More than 2,000 people marched in Hong Kong on Sunday to mark 30 years since a pro-democracy protest in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square ended in bloodshed.

Demonstrators took to the streets holding yellow umbrellas that read “Support Freedom, Oppose Evil Laws.” Some people carried a black coffin, while others wheeled white crosses and the numbers 6 and 4 — a nod to the day on June 4, 1989, when leaders of China’s ruling Communist Party ordered the military to re-take Tiananmen Square from student-led protesters.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of unarmed protesters and onlookers were killed late on June 3 and in the early hours of June 4 as a result of the martial action.

Commemorations of the historic event are strictly banned in mainland China, and those who attempt to raise awareness of or merely discuss it are often punished by authorities. Groups such as the “Tiananmen Mothers” are pressured to stay quiet about the children they lost, while others are detained for making even subtle tributes to the occasion.

The semi-autonomous territory of Hong Kong, however, holds yearly vigils and other gatherings to remember the deceased and pay tribute to the spirit of the protests.

This year in Hong Kong, the march took on additional significance as opposition to changes to an extradition law widely seen as eroding the territory’s independent legal system.

Revisions to the law would make it easier to send criminal suspects to mainland China, where critics say they could face vague national security charges and unfair trials.

“Recently, we are facing the challenge of this (extradition law), which affects our basic freedom and liberty,” said Albert Ho, who organized Sunday’s march. He is chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China.

“The dedication and the commitment to fight for democracy and human rights is the only way out,” said Ho, who added that he hopes more people will become aware of the situation facing Hong Kong as legislators debate the proposed amendments.

ALSO READ: Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

ALSO READ: Canadian retaliatory tariffs lifted as U.S. kills steel aluminum penalties

Katie Tam, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Cowichan doc spurs octogenarian dad to develop low-cost ventilator for COVID-19 patients

Graham Brockley takes concept to his dad who is trying to develop it to save lives

VIDEO: Man breaks up Saanich road rage fight

Two men were throwing punches on Tillicum Road

Victoria brewery uses 3D-printer to make face shields for health care workers

Phillips Brewing is teaming up with engineers to create single-use medical equipment

Saanich man serving life for notorious double murder-for-hire granted day parole

Derik Christopher Lord, convicted in 1992 Huenemann case, fathered a child in custody

EDITORIAL: Social distancing means some sacrifice, please make it

Thank your frontline workers and protect your loved ones, don’t leave home unless you really have to

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

Vancouver Island teachers show the love for their students

Virtual message meant to give families hope in uncertain times

COVID-19 has been impacting Canadian economy since January

But full effects of pandemic won’t be known for months

Doctors trained abroad want to join front lines of COVID-19 fight in Canada

B.C. is looking to allow internationally trained doctors to work under the supervision of attending physicians

Fake test kits and other COVID online scams play on public anxiety: fraud centre

Vancouver has seen a spike in commercial property crimes, with offices and stores empty because of COVID-19

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Feds amplify stay-home message as cost of financial aid to Canadians mounts

Liberals have unveiled around $200B in direct financial aid and tax deferrals

Most Read