Pro-democracy demonstrators carry placards with Chinese reads “Withdraw extradition law, Vindicate June 4th” during a demonstration in Hong Kong, Sunday, May 26, 2019. A vigil will be held on June 4 at the Victoria Park to mark the 30th anniversary of the military crackdown on the pro-democracy movement at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Thousands in Hong Kong commemorate 1989 Tiananmen protests

Hundreds, if not thousands, of unarmed protesters and onlookers were killed late on June 3

More than 2,000 people marched in Hong Kong on Sunday to mark 30 years since a pro-democracy protest in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square ended in bloodshed.

Demonstrators took to the streets holding yellow umbrellas that read “Support Freedom, Oppose Evil Laws.” Some people carried a black coffin, while others wheeled white crosses and the numbers 6 and 4 — a nod to the day on June 4, 1989, when leaders of China’s ruling Communist Party ordered the military to re-take Tiananmen Square from student-led protesters.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of unarmed protesters and onlookers were killed late on June 3 and in the early hours of June 4 as a result of the martial action.

Commemorations of the historic event are strictly banned in mainland China, and those who attempt to raise awareness of or merely discuss it are often punished by authorities. Groups such as the “Tiananmen Mothers” are pressured to stay quiet about the children they lost, while others are detained for making even subtle tributes to the occasion.

The semi-autonomous territory of Hong Kong, however, holds yearly vigils and other gatherings to remember the deceased and pay tribute to the spirit of the protests.

This year in Hong Kong, the march took on additional significance as opposition to changes to an extradition law widely seen as eroding the territory’s independent legal system.

Revisions to the law would make it easier to send criminal suspects to mainland China, where critics say they could face vague national security charges and unfair trials.

“Recently, we are facing the challenge of this (extradition law), which affects our basic freedom and liberty,” said Albert Ho, who organized Sunday’s march. He is chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China.

“The dedication and the commitment to fight for democracy and human rights is the only way out,” said Ho, who added that he hopes more people will become aware of the situation facing Hong Kong as legislators debate the proposed amendments.

ALSO READ: Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

ALSO READ: Canadian retaliatory tariffs lifted as U.S. kills steel aluminum penalties

Katie Tam, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Kelowna art organization is celebrating failure

The party will take place on Friday, Aug. 28

Road conditions concerns ignored by district says Lake Country resident

Beaver Lake Road’s poor conditions have been a large concern for Bruce Williams

Motorcyclist involved in Westside Road crash

Air ambulance assists while motorists face lengthy delays

Kelowna museum highlights city’s amusing past

Ever wonder what happened to your favourite childhood carnival character?

Festival goers at the 27th annual Roots and Blues Festival

The Observer asked: Where are you from and what brought you to the festival?

VIDEO: Canadian zoos’ captive breeding programs help preserve endangered species

Programs considered last-ditch effort to prevent local extinctions of turtles, butterflies and more

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Environment groups warned saying climate change is real could be seen as partisan

Talk of climate change could be viewed as advocating against Maxime Bernier, the leader of the People’s Party of Canada

Search crews find 4-year-old boy who went missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Sunshine to kick off the week

Your weather report for Monday, August 19th, 2019.

The Offspring and Sum41 ready to rock the South Okanagan

The Offspring and Sum 41 will stop in Penticton to the South Okanagan Events Centre

Okanagan filmmakers take top awards at Reel Peach Festival

Films submitted to the contest were shown over the five days of the Penticton Peach Festival

Most Read