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

Stacked townhouse project gets approval despite traffic concerns

Neighbours say project will increase traffic and problems turning out of seniors’ complex

Fraser Valley pride celebration includes dance and festival

Events held in Abbotsford on July 19 and 20

Free summer concert series celebrates Fraser Valley indie music

Two more performances left in Jam in Jubilee in Abbotsford

Getting a new ‘Gig’ easier with new innovative program in Chilliwack

Program will take 12 young adults and help them prepare for their career path

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

Anglican Church to review governance structure after same-sex marriage change fails

Some say the current system to change doctrine gives too much voting power to a smaller class of bishops

B.C. adding fast-charge stations for electric highway trips

Okanagan, Vancouver Island, Kootenay stations ready for use

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

B.C. Ferries cancels two sailings Monday due to mechanical issues

Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay run affected in order to repair Queen of New Westminster

Most Read