June 4 Vigil sees strongest turnout since 2014 - RTHK
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June 4 Vigil sees strongest turnout since 2014

2019-06-04 HKT 20:46
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  • June 4 Vigil sees strongest turnout since 2014
  • A man holds up a candle in memory of those who died. Photo: RTHK
    A man holds up a candle in memory of those who died. Photo: RTHK
  • A crowd listens to speeches given by pro-democracy activists. Photo: RTHK
    A crowd listens to speeches given by pro-democracy activists. Photo: RTHK
  • A man in the crowd takes a photograph of the event. Photo: RTHK
    A man in the crowd takes a photograph of the event. Photo: RTHK
Maggie Ho reports
There has been a strong turnout for annual June 4 vigil in Victoria Park to mark the 30th anniversary of the brutal crackdown on pro-democracy supporters in and around Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989.

The organiser, the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, said over 180,000 people had taken part, in line with its prediction of 180,000. Police put the figure at 37,000 at its peak. That's the highest turnout since 2014.

It compares to an organiser figure of 115,000 and a police figure of 17,000 for last year's vigil.

Despite the unsettled weather, people gathered and lit candles to commemorate the hundreds, if not thousands, of people who died when PLA troops cleared the square in 1989.

All six football pitches in Victoria Park in Causeway Bay were full and more people were still turning up half an hour after the event began.

Crystal, a student from the mainland, said she was taking part to learn more about what happened.

"There's something about history," she said. "We can learn about this from our parents. But in the media, it is not that possible."

During the event, there were chants calling for the student-led democracy movement of 1989 to be vindicated. After a number of speeches and performances, a group of activists carried a torch through the crowd to the stage where they lit a flame to pay tribute to those who died.

A replica of the Goddess of Democracy statue, which had been erected by the students in Tiananmen Square in 1989, had also been put up in Victoria Park.

Lee Cheuk-yan, the secretary of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, said it was important to record the memory of the crackdown. He said people in Hong Kong should fight on.

Earlier in the day the Chief Executive Carrie Lam said she hoped the event would be peaceful and orderly. She did not answer questions over whether authorities should vindicate the pro-democracy movement, but she said the views of people taking part in the vigil should be respected.

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Last updated: 2019-06-04 HKT 23:37