June 4, 2020 / 1:11 PM / a month ago

Factbox: What people said in Hong Kong on Tiananmen anniversary

HONG KONG (Reuters) - People in Hong Kong commemorated on Thursday the bloody 1989 democracy crackdown by Chinese troops at Tiananmen Square by lighting candles, after police banned the annual vigil citing coronavirus social distancing rules.

Lee Cheuk-yan, the chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, takes part in a candlelight vigil to mark the 31st anniversary of the crackdown of pro-democracy protests at Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989, after police rejects a mass annual vigil on public health grounds, at Victoria Park, in Hong Kong, China June 4, 2020. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Following is some comment on the anniversary, which struck an especially sensitive nerve this year after China’s move to impose national security legislation which critics fear will crush freedoms in Hong Kong.

Mr Wong, 61, gathering in Victoria Park:

“I am not afraid of being arrested. They can’t arrest us all. This is something I can’t forget. We must come here every year, even if I might be the last person who comes here.”

Michael, 20, in Kowloon district distributing the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s annual publication on Tiananmen Square:

“We have the freedom now to publish any article we want, our school can’t interfere with us. We need that to be allowed to

continue.”

Lee Cheuk-yan, democracy activist, in Victoria Park:

“We will insist that we have the right to light a candle inside Victoria Park, and you can see that internationally there are lots of concerns as to whether we can have this candlelight vigil.

“This is an international fight for the people of Hong Kong to show the world. Though China is totally dark and brainwashing their own people, we in Hong Kong will still light up a candle for those who sacrificed back in the ‘89 democracy movement.”

Kitty, housewife, 70:

“We are just remembering those who died on June 4, the students who were killed. What have we done wrong? For 30 years we have come here peacefully and reasonably, once it’s over it’s ‘sayonara’ (goodbye).”

Brenda Hui, 24, with a friend in Mong Kok district, and holding white battery-illuminated umbrella that read “Never Forget June 4”.

“We are afraid this will be the last time we can have a ceremony but Hong Kongers will always remember what happened on June 4.

“China does not allow people to speak their mind and I’m afraid that we are at risk of losing our freedom of speech.”

Reporting by Pak Yiu, Jessie Pang; Compiled by Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne

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