HONG KONG—Many Hong Kong people will find their own way to mark the 31st anniversary of Chinese troops opening fire on protesters in and around Tiananmen Square, after an annual candlelight vigil was canceled for the first time because of the CCP virus.
The anniversary of the crackdown on the student-led democracy protests has a special poignancy this year, coming a week after Beijing gave the green light to move ahead with national security legislation for Hong Kong, which critics fear will crush freedoms in the former British colony.
“I cant be silent. If people tell me to keep silent, I wont,” said office worker Daisy Lam, 52, who has attended nearly every vigil since June 4, 1989, with her children.
Former Hong Kong student leader Chan Ching-wah, 56, was in Beijing on June 4, 1989, and recalled the kindness of a customs officer who let him take a bag full of photos and videos of the military crackdown when he left Beijing.
“I feel like I had never left because the danger that Hong Kong is facing, the repression its going to face is no small thing,” Chan told Reuters as he held a photo of himself in Tiananmen Square.
“I hope the battle in Hong Kong wont lead to a crackdown like the one on June 4.”
Fears have intensified over what many residents of Hong Kong see as Beijings encroachment on its freedoms, and the impact of that on the citys status as a global financial hub.
Mainland and Hong Kong authorities reject criticism of the security legislation and insist the citys high degree of autonomy will remain intact under a “one country, two systems” formula.
In past years, Hong Kongs candlelight memorials have drawn tens of thousands of people to the citys Victoria Park.
But police said this week a mass gathering would pose a serious threat to public health just as the city reported its first locally transmitted _