06/03/2020, 09.38
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Tiananmen vigil takes place in Hong Kong, despite the police ban

by Paul Wang

The organizers invite the population to light candles everywhere and participate in online gatherings. Groups of eight - the only number allowed by the pandemic rules - will gather in Victoria Park, like every year. The "health" reasons exploited to implement a censorship on the event, unique in the Chinese world. Mass for the fallen of Tiananmen and a prayer meeting, which was usually held before the big vigil, were also online.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Despite the police ban, the vigil for those killed in Tiananmen Square in 1989 will take place, but in different and more sober ways. The police decreed that the rally is too dangerous due to the pandemic and does not allow gatherings of more than eight people.

The Alliance in support of China's patriotic and democratic movements, which has organized the vigil for the past 30 years, has asked the public to organize virtual online meetings tomorrow night and to light candles throughout the country. Tomorrow afternoon at least 100 kiosks will be set up at different points to distribute candles to people.

Some groups have planned to go to Victoria Park, the traditional place where the vigil has always been held, and to gather in groups of eight or individually, to escape the police ban.

Since 1990, hundreds of thousands of people have gathered continuously in Victoria Park for a candlelight vigil in which through elegies, prayers, offerings of flowers and speeches, the memory of those killed in Tiananmen Square has been remembered.

On the night between 3 and 4 June, the tanks and the Chinese army cleared the square, occupied by a few thousand young demonstrators, killing them with rifles and maciulandoli under the wheels of the tanks. Young people, students and workers had been sitting in the square for months asking for democracy and an end to corruption. According to independent organizations, 200 to 2,000 young people were killed that night. The Chinese government never wanted to make the death toll public. On the other hand, he wrapped the massacre with silence: anyone in China dares to remember that event even in the distant past, is struck by censorship and prison.

Hong Kong has so far been the only place on Chinese soil where the Tiananmen massacre has been remembered every year. There were sometimes demonstrations in Macau, but they never had the breadth of the Hong Kong vigil, where 180,000 people attended last year.

For the occasion, many people from China tried to get to Hong Kong to participate.

Groups of Christians, Catholics and Protestants have always attended the vigil. Before the main event, the Christians gathered in a corner of Victoria Park for a moment of prayer, to then return to the common assembly.

This year, there will be a mass and a moment of online prayer, entitled " Have no fear or dread of them, for it is the LORD, your God, who marches with you” (Deuteronomy 31:6)."

The ban on the vigil for "health" reasons does not convince the organizers who believe they are an excuse to erase the memory of Tiananmen from Hong Kong as well.

Moreover, last week Beijing approved a security law that would increase control with spies and policemen on the population, canceling the "One country, two systems" principle which maintains the liberal character of Hong Kong compared to China's political and cultural dictatorship.

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