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

Eleven communities to attract newcomers to support middle-class jobs

The program includes unspecified West Kootenay communities

Nelson blogger and Chinatown historian dies

Claus Schunke was a fierce critic of Nelson City Council

Mural designed by Grade 5 student painted at credit union

L’Ècole Sentiers-Alpins’ Emily Horn and local artist Isabelle Houde finished the mural last week

PHOTOS: L.V. Rogers sends off its grad class

Check out our pictures of the festivities

Nine fires burning in West Kootenay

All fires considered to be lightning caused.

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

B.C. church’s Pride flag defaced for second time in 12 days

Delta’s Ladner United Church says it will continue to fly the flag for Pride month

Update: Two shot, two arrested at Toronto Raptors victory rally

The team and several dignitaries, including Justin Trudeau, remained on stage

Oil and gas sector cautious as deadline on Trans Mountain decision nears

Trudeau government expected to announce whether it will approve pipeline for second time on Tuesday

Skipping school costs a dozen B.C. students chance at a new car

Cowichan’s Jared Lammi showed up and won $5,000 cheque toward vehicle, but he can’t drive

Most Read