115 thousand at vigil in memory of Tiananmen dead (Photo)
Many young people also present. Before the vigil, a Christian prayer meeting, led by Card. Joseph Zen. The testimonies of the families of Tiananmen dissidents and martyrs. Thank you to the people of Hong Kong, the only place to where the dramatic event can be commemorated.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - At least 115 thousand people took part in the Victoria Park vigil in memory of those who were killed by the Chinese army on 4 June 1989 in Tiananmen Square. The large number of participants surprised the organizers: for several years diverse pro-Beijing groups have contested the peaceful event claiming that "there was no massacre" 29 years ago. In addition, a growing number of young "localists", who care for democracy in Hong Kong, refuse to participate, considering the vigil ineffective. In reality there were many young people and students at the vigil, as well as entire families.
Many Protestant and Catholic Christians were also present. As per tradition, they held a moment of prayer for the "martyrs" of Tiananmen at a pavilion of the Victoria Park, just before the vigil. Their prayer was led by Card. Joseph Zen, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong.
At the vigil, a series of commemorative videos, elegies similar to prayers, songs, the ritual of flowers laid before a copy of the monument of heroes, which stands in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, also saw the two moving video testimonies: that of Li Wenzu, wife of human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang, and that of Di Mengqi, one of Tiananmen's mothers.
Di recalled her son, Wang Hongqi, 19, who greeted her on the morning of June 3, 1989, on his way to work and who never returned because he was killed by soldiers.” “As a mother, I hope the state can step forward to clarify its stance on the massacre,” Di said. “If not, I’ll not close my eyes in my grave ".
Hong Kong is the only place in China where the Tiananmen massacre can be freely remembered. In the People's Republic every event or commemoration is prohibited and many activists are forced under house arrest or forced to take a vacation in the company of members of the public security.
Li Wangling, sister of the late dissident Li Wangyang, released a short video on Facebook to thank the people of Hong Kong for supporting the murdered of Tiananmen.
Her brother, who had participated in the 1989 democratic movement, was in prison for 22 years. Released in 2011, he lived under police surveillance 24 hours a day. He died in 2012 in a case of suspected suicide.
Wang Dan, one of the leaders of the then protests, now exiled in the United States, also thanked the Hong Kong people who attend the vigil: "Every year we attend the candlelight vigil at Victoria Park in Hong Kong ... and we have seen that this moral support has continued for 29 years ... It is something that the people of Hong Kong should be proud of ".
The Hong Kong Alliance in support of the democratic and patriotic movements in China, who organize the vigil, is already preparing for the next year's event, marking the 30th anniversary. These days, until June 10, the group has organized an exhibition on Tiananmen in the Shek Kip Mei district.