The students' union of the University of Hong Kong said on Thursday that the national security law being imposed by Beijing should not be used to suppress annual events held to commemorate the June 4 massacre.
Members of the union marked the day by holding a minute of silence for those killed in the bloody crackdown 31 years ago.
They then carried out the annual cleansing ritual of the Pillar of Shame sculpture and refurbished June Fourth-related slogans painted on the University's Swire Bridge.
The group then criticised the government for using anti-epidemic measures to suppress freedom of assembly, said they would not cower, and urged students to "protect the truth of June 4" by mourning the victims.
Student union president Jeh Tsz-lam said the university did not put any pressure on them or try to prevent the event from taking place, but did ask the union to ensure that a meeting planned for Friday evening to discuss the national security law has no more than 50 people attending.
The external vice president of the union, Tracy Cheng, said she hopes their events can help keep memories of the massacre alive and inspire students.
“We feel that the Pillar of Shame, and also the Swire Bridge is actually more than a symbol of the June 4 massacre. We’d like our students to understand their role in society through these events," Cheng said.
“They are actually the future generations that will take up Hong Kong and they have the responsibility to bring Hong Kong forward, to push for democratisation and also reforms in the government.”
Earlier on Thursday, some Central and Western district councillors placed a banner with the words "truth" at the front of the statue. They left flowers, bowed, and raised slogans like "do not forget June 4, hold fast to justice".
'Security law shouldn't stop June 4 HKU event'
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