Police urged to stay away from Victoria Park tonight - RTHK
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Police urged to stay away from Victoria Park tonight

2020-06-04 HKT 11:24
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  • Police urged to stay away from Victoria Park tonight
Organisers of the June 4 candlelight vigil urged police to stay away from Victoria Park on Thursday night, saying people will head there to mark the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre even though this year's commemoration event is banned.

The chairman of the Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, Lee Cheuk-yan, said although authorities have refused permission for a mass gathering at the park this year, the public are welcome to join them there to remember the many people who died in the 1989 atrocity.

"Without police there will be no clashes, so we are calling upon the police not to be present, you don’t need to be present. We are just going into the park to light up a candle," Lee said after appearing on a radio programme.

The former lawmaker also said the decision to ban the annual vigil for public health reasons amid the coronavirus pandemic was "absurd" and "obviously politically-motivated".

"When you look at Hong Kong, everything has opened up; schools are open, religious gatherings are allowed, when you go in the MTR it’s so crowded, no social distancing at all is possible inside," Lee said.

"So if they try to explain that it’s so dangerous to have a gathering, it’s so subject to risk of public health, then why are you not locking down the whole city? It’s crazy, it's absurd."

During the radio show, Lee said the chance of holding a vigil next year will be slim, being as Hong Kong's new national security legislation will have been introduced.

"We do not know whether we are able to organise next year’s candlelight vigil, so last year may have been the last authorised assembly," he said.

Lee said members of the alliance will distribute candles as usual at Causeway Bay and Tin Hau starting from 5pm for people to light them at Victoria Park.

He also urged others to light a candle wherever they are starting from 8pm.