Call for candles to be lit around city amid looming ban

Top News | Erin Chan 10 May 2021

Candles would still be lit around the city to mark June 4, the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China says, amid a looming police ban on the annual vigil at Victoria Park.

This year marks the 32nd anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown in Beijing.

The alliance is still awaiting police approval on using Victoria Park to hold the vigil, though the Leisure and Cultural Services Department has already denied the same application citing health concerns.

The alliance set up street counters in Sai Yeung Choi Street South in Mong Kok yesterday - Mothers' Day - to distribute candles with slogans such as "support Tiananmen Mothers," pamphlets and postcards as well as collect signatures in memory of the crackdown. It also set out a box for postcards written to jailed pro-democracy activists.

Alliance members in the past years chanted slogans such as "vindication for the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest" and "End one-party state."

At 4pm yesterday, police filmed the counters and jotted down information.

Alliance vice chairwoman Tonyee Chow Hang-tung said even if police reject its application, it would forge ahead with the vigil.

"If the government is determined to oppress the event, the alliance would be willing to bear the consequences of going against its will," she said.

Chow said alliance members were mentally prepared that some of them may be arrested.

She called on people to light up candles in different parts of the city, upload pictures online with the hashtag "#6324justice" and attend the alliance's online vigil.

"The alliance will continue their commitment to the crackdown's deceased and their mothers and will not give up despite political pressure," Chow said. The alliance will not give up the pursuit of democracy, she added.

"The alliance has commemorated the crackdown over the past 32 years, which is not a weightless commitment," she said.

Chow denied that there is a trend of members withdrawing, though she admitted the number of groups under the alliance has fallen to less than 200.

Alliance secretary Richard Tsoi Yiu-cheong suggested that people can commemorate the crackdown through "flexible means."

erin.chan@singtaonewscorp.com



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